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Detention and release of the two EM journalists

Detention and release of the two EM journalists

4 October 2016

Chronological reminder

Thursday, September 29th, 2016, at 8 pm the tow Sahrawi journalists Said Amidan and Brahim Laajail, studding in Agadir have gone to carpooling with an acquaintance from El Aaiun in occupied Western Sahara to Agadir in Morocco.
Said Amidan was born on 02/05/1988 in occupied El Aaiun , Brahim Laajail born on 02/05/1986 in occupied El Aaiun also .
Friday, September 30, 2016, at 10:30 am, while Said Amidan was driving the car a police checkpoint in south of Guelimim (Morocco) stopped them, only Said who had documents to submit.
The policeman has contacted the central police station and the identity documents have not been returned.
Waiting 30 minutes outside the car, a police vehicle was arrived, the car’ owner who brouth them left quickly, leaving the two journalists on the spot. EM could not contact the man to get explanation.
Amidan and Laajail were taken to the 1st district of Guelmim police, along 3 hours they suffered abuse, racial character insults by the Police officer who deliberately makes the handcuffed too tight, they were punched in the stomach, slaps, insults. They were also they were put naked for a body search. Said had in his pocket a medicament against insomnia “lorazepam 1 mg CINFA” only 12 pills remains. These, as his two mobile phones, a driving license, ID card were confiscated, as well as the Brahim’s mobile phone.
All these personal belongings were not returned to their owners after their release, they are kept at the police headquarters.
At 14:30, the two journalists were taken to police headquarters, where the prefect and four officers were waiting them for interrogation
Over two hours the prefect insulted and beaten Said and Brahim, in 3 times he used a pair of handcuffs to whip the journalists. He told them “You the Saharawi separatists are bugs” “You are in a merciless place”.”Your brother Chaikh attempted to blow up the phosphate conveyor while your sister Rabab bothers us (with sexist insult).
The prefect then ordered the chief of the judicial police to "fill in charges aginst the two”
The two journalists were taken in two separate cells, each one with three Moroccans in custody for criminal reasons, before being taken in two separate offices for further questioning with police.
During one hour, they had to answer "usual" questions as when Sahrawi activists have been arrested: name, genealogy, identity, number of members in the family, tribe, if a part of the family in refugee camps or not, visiting camps or not, belonging to a Moroccan political party, date of engagement with the Polisario...
Officers used tribalistic provocation, which is a Moroccan technique for separating the Sahrawis, arguing that they were Berbers but no Arabs . thing led Said to gave him a Presentation talking about the Amazigh as an expert this forced the officer to stop the interrogation with him . Said and Brahim chose the option to respond accurately to inform the officials of their gaps and mistakes.
Spetmber 30th at 8 pm and Said and Brahim were interrogated for one hour by two DGST agents including Boukricha .Under threat the journalists were forced to reveal them pin codes of their phones, the passwords of gmail and facebook accounts . The data, discussions and personal pictures were copied and studied.
The DGST agents interrogated the journalists about their activities with the EM the partnership structure of that organization but also on their activities at the university. Boukricha and his colleague said that Morocco gave "many things to the Sahrawis, flour, sugar, oil with good prices but the Sahrawis are bastards."
Back in the custody cell, Said and Brahim were not allowed to receive food and drink respectively had brought by Said’s cousin and Brahim’s brother.
A policeman had instructed that nothing is given to two Sahrawis he took the food and did not give their recipients.
During 48 hours in custody, the two journalists have swallowed a half liter of milk and a bread given by the police. They spent the night without mattresses or blankets. Moroccan prisoners could receive their food brought by their families.
In October 1st Said and Brahim spent the whole day in the custody cell.
October 2nd at 11 am they waited their turn to appear in front of the prosecutor but they were the last at 4 pm they appear in front of him.
The report of the Police commissioner contained the following charges:
File No. 2016/2102/1031
For Said
· Possession and consumption of drugs.
· Insulting judicial police by misrepresentation of a crime
Brahim
· Not presenting identity document
· Insulting judicial police by misrepresentation of a crime
Both refused to sign the police report. After the hearing, they were released with a call for a new hearing scheduled for October 18th before the Court of Guelmin.
Equipe Media , El Aaiun Occupied Western Sahara
October 3rd 2016

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