GB- Polisario : the case of the dissident Mustapha Salma raised at the House of Commons

The arbitrary refusal of entry to Mustapha Salma, the Polisario dissident, who was forced to leave Tindouf for having supported the Moroccan autonomy plan in the Western Sahara, has been raised during a debate at the British House of Commons.
Andrew Murrisson, a Member of the Lower House of Westminster Parliament, has questioned the London Government about this case of undeniable human rights violations. Mustapha Salma has, in fact, been arrested in September 2010 and tortured by the Polisario before being forced back from Tindouf, in the South-West of Algeria, far from his family and children. The only mistake of this former Polisario executive is having dared to contradict the leadership of the separatist Front, when he declared his being in favour of the autonomy plan proposed by Morocco.
The forcing back of Mustapha Salma was denounced by different human rights organizations throughout the world, namely, HRW and Amnesty International. Nevertheless, the case of Mustapha Salma is not an isolated one, many other Sahrawis living in Tindouf camps are oppressed for the same reasons. Deprived of the right to express themselves or to move outside the camps, the case of Mustapha Salma gives them some hope that their cause would be heard by international media and NGOs.

For this reason, in December 2010, some days only after the forcing back of the former Polisario executive, towards Mauritania, Amnesty International has expressed the wish to make investigations about other human rights violations cases in Tindouf camps. A wish confronted with the firm refusal of Algerian authorities. Malcolm Smart, Director at Amnesty International has recognized that “the very small section” which the international NGO had in Algeria, was facing “some difficulties to work in this country”.  Concerning the conditions imposed by Algeria, Malcolm Smart has replied that Amnesty “is not ready to accept a limited access in Algeria. We want to get access to the Algerian territory including Tindouf camps”, has he insisted.


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