Western Sahara: The fate of the Polisario dissident worries international NGOs

The reactions of international protests triggered by the arrest of the Polisario official, Mustapha Salma Ould Sidi Mouloud, are getting stronger, putting Polisario and Algeria in an embarrassing situation. After Human Rights Watch and UNHCR, it is Amnesty International, the organization defending human rights, which has strongly urged the Polisario to reveal the whereabouts of Mustapha Salma, arrested for having expressed his support to the Moroccan autonomy plan for the Sahara. For this international organization, the “peaceful support to the autonomy plan should not be perceived as an act that justifies putting restrictions on freedom of expression”. Therefore, Amnesty thinks that the head of the Polisario “should not be subject to reprisals in Tindouf camps in Algeria”. Amnesty was even thinking about considering Mustapha Salma as a “prisoner of conscience”. In this regard, it considers that the Algerian government, as a host country of Tindouf camps, is “responsible for respecting the right to freedom of expression on its territory”. The concerns expressed by Amnesty, Human Rights Watch and UNHCR are so justified as Mustapha Salma’s relatives did not receive any news about him since his kidnapping. His brother, Mohamed Cheikh Sidi Mouloud, told Amnesty that “his relatives ignore all about his place of imprisonment”.

For its part, the Moroccan government, through its spokesman, said that the Polisario dissident “has been kidnapped and taken to an unknown place on the Algerian territory”. Rabat also holds the Algerian authorities responsible for kidnapping Mustapha Salma, whose “unique fault is not to be in conformity with what is said in Algiers and Tindouf”.


Posted on

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *