Western Sahara : Algiers refuses that Amnesty gets access to Tindouf camps

Amnesty International wishes to make an investigation about the Polisario dissident Mustapha Salma who has been returned back to Mauritania, as well as other cases of human rights violations in Tindouf camp for refugees, but Algeria is against it. This declaration of Malcolm Smart, Director in charge of Middle-East and North of Africa, explains all the difficulty faced by this human rights organization in getting access to Tindouf camps in Algeria. “We want to examine these questions on field, but our wish is always opposed by the Algerian authorities”, has explained Malcolm Smart. “We are not ready to accept a limited access to Algeria”, has insisted the AI executive, specifying that “the very small section” of Amnesty in Algeria “finds difficulties to work in this country”. Amnesty International wishes to “get access to all the Algerian territory including Tindouf camps” controlled by the Polisario.

But, the AI executive regrets « the Algerian Government informing us that because of our criticism of the situation in Algeria, we can not visit this country to make investigations there”. After the arrest of Mustapha Salma on the 21st September, and his detention in secret place by the Polisario, for many weeks, for having supported the Moroccan autonomy proposal for the Western Sahara, Amnesty International has led a campaign for the release of the dissident. “The peaceful support to the autonomy plan should not be considered as an act that justifies the restrictions imposed on freedom of expression”, has stated the international organization.


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