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El Bachir Khadda

HRD, Journalist
Equipe Media

El Bachir Khadda is a human rights defender who was born in 1986. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison by the Appeals Court in Salé in 2017. El Bachir Khadda is a Sahrawi journalist connected to Equipe Media and a member of the Sahrawi Observatory for Human Rights in Western Sahara. El Bachir Khadda reported at the Appeal Court that he had been abducted from a café in Laayoune, together with fellow human rights defenders Mohamed Tahlil and Hassan Eddah, on 4 December 2010. The human rights defender claims to have been under torture for an unspecified period of time, since he lost consciousness "due to the tortures". El Bachir Khadda was blindfolded and handcuffed throughout his detention and claims to have signed the declarations and confessions under torture. El Bachir Khadda was not present in the Gdeim Izik camp on the morning of 8 November and at the time when he is accused of having committed criminal acts.

The issue of the status of Western Sahara remains unresolved, despite ongoing negotiations between the Moroccan authorities and the Polisario Front. The UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO), established in 1991, has been extended but continues to have no human rights monitoring component. The dispute over self determination created deep political and security related tensions throughout the Sahara area and affects all aspects of life, including the work of human rights defenders.

Sahrawi human rights defenders continued to be subjected to intimidation, harassment, questioning, arrest, incommunicado detention, and unfair trials.

The right to freedom of assembly remains severely restricted. Permission to hold public gatherings is often denied and demonstrations dispersed by force. Participants, including human rights defenders, have been beaten, arrested or otherwise intimidated.