PHOTO REPORTER JUDIT PRAT OBLIGED TO LEAVE EL-AAIUN (WESTERN SAHARA)
Just two hours after the Spanish photo reporter Judit Prat had arrived in El-Aaiún, the Moroccan authorities controlling part of of the formerly Spanish territory of Western Sahara, ordered her departure on a bus bound northwards.
The journalist had been visiting her colleague Said Amidan´s home, when both uniformed and plain-cloth Moroccan policemen got there and obliged here to leave the house. Then they accompanied her onto a bus, on which she was sent en-route to its destination, the Moroccan city of Agadir.
Judit Prat, who travelled to Western Sahara to join Sahrawi activists this time, in order to share their experience, is an award-winning expert at international level for jobs she has carried out in Africa, the Middle-East and Latin America, e.g. on the mining of coltan or tantalite in the Democratic Republic of Congo, fuel-oil drilling in the Niger Delta, Boko Haram violence in Nigeria, Mexican workers on farms in the US, or Syrian refugees and the Yemen war.
Not in vain then, rather underlining the latest case in this cause, Reporteros Sin Fronteras (RSF) made public a report in the Spanish capital Madrid, yesterday, entitled “Sáhara Occidental, un desierto para el periodismo” or “Western Sahara, a Desert for Journalism” and thus already reveals that this formally not yet decolonised territory has been converted into a kind of “black hole” in journalism, considered to be extremely dangerous for journalists.
RSF, initials standing for the originally French name “Reporters Sans Frontières”, by which worldwide prestige had already been achieved, and not the English “Reporters Without Borders” meanwhile quite common, too, is an NGO denouncing Morocco’s systematic policy of either not allowing the entry of foreign reporters or extradite those who have made it into the territory, thus trying to prevent the international public from getting to know what is going on there.
Only since January this year, there are no less than 25 affected, counting journalists, Human Rights activists, and observers, the latter supposed to attend trials of Sahrawi activists facing trial before judges representing the Moroccan authorities.
Madrid, June 12, 2019