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Enaâma Asfari

HRD, Vice-President
CORELSO (the Committee for Liberties and Respect for Human Rights in Western Sahara)

Enaâma Asfari is a human rights defender who was born in 1970. He was sentenced to 30 years by the Appeals Court in Salé in 2017. Enaâma Asfari is the vice-president of CORELSO (the Committee for Liberties and Respect for Human Rights in Western Sahara). In 2009, he was imprisoned for 4 months for holding a key chain that depicted the Sahrawi flag. Enaâma Asfari was arrested on 7 November 2010, the day before the camp was dismantled and the time the human rights defender is alleged to have carried out the criminal acts of which he stands accused. Enaâma Asfari spent five days in an unknown location, where he was held blindfolded and handcuffed. He claims to have signed the declarations and confessions under torture. The Committee against Torture (CAT) found in a decision (Case 606/2014) pertaining to Enaâma Asfari, that Morocco had violated Articles 1, 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16, with the continued detention of Enaâma Asfari, for which they relied on confessions signed under torture.

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.