AI calls on Moroccan authorities to release Sahrawi political prisoners

London, 2April 2016 (SPS) - Amnesty International (AI) on Saturday launched an urgent appeal to the Moroccan authorities to release the thirteen Sahrawi human rights defenders, held in Moroccan Salé prison and observing a hunger strike since early March.

The NGO denounced once again, the judgment of 13 Sahrawi Human Rights defenders on strike, after an "unfair trial "by a military court in 2013, urging the Moroccan authorities to release them after five years of "arbitrary" detention.

The 13 Sahrawi prisoners: Sidahmed Lamjayed, Ahmed Sbai, Mohamed Bachir Boutanguiza, Naama Asfari, Hassan Dah, Cheikh Banga, Mohamed Bani, Sidi Abdallah Abhah, Mohamed Bourial, Mohamed Embarek Lefkir, Bachir Khadda, Abdullah Toubali and Brahim Ismaili were sentenced to 20 years in prison for their peaceful activism during Gdeim Izik protests, in November 2010.

A total of 25 Sahrawi demonstrators and activists had been arbitrarily arrested and judged.

Last March, 13 among the Sahrawis have begun a hunger strike to protest against their arbitrary detention, as well as eight other after an unfair trial.

Amnesty International is sounding the alarm about their health condition, noting that in addition to significant weight loss, they are suffering at this stage of their strike, "extreme fatigue, severe headache, abdominal pain and dizziness." (SPS)