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Mohamed Lamin Haddi

HRD, Journalist

Mohamed Lamin Haddi is a human rights defender who was born in 1980. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison by the Appeals Court in Salé in 2017. Mohamed Lamin Haddi is a Sahrawi journalist and human rights defender who has claimed that his arrest was in connection to his offering assistance to two Belgian doctors linked to “Doctors without borders,” who were on a humanitarian mission in the occupied territory to provide medical assistance to Sahrawi victims of Moroccan oppression in the Gdeim Izik camp. Mohamed Lamin Haddi was arrested by the Moroccan secret service on 20 November in 2010 in Laayoune while he was accompanying the two doctors. The Belgian doctors were expelled from Laayoune. Mohamed Lamin Haddi declared at the Court of Appeal when being presented to the investigative judge that he was being tortured within the court facilities. The human rights defender claims to have signed the declarations and confessions under torture, which have been used as a key piece of evidence against him. Mohamed Lamin Haddi also maintains that he was not present in the camp on 8 November 2010, but that he was in Laayoune, witnessing civilians being beaten, women being raped, and military forces assaulting people in the streets. Mohamed Lamin Haddi declared that two of his friends died that day and that this has never been investigated by the Moroccan authorities.

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.