November 17th, 2019
A Moroccan judge in the occupied El-Aaiun ordered the Saharawi activist and Human Rights defender Mahfouda Bemba Lefkir’s detention in the court-room, while she attended the court-hearing held in the case of the political prisoner Mansour Otman El Moussaoui, a relative of hers, protesting because the trial lacked even a minimum of guarantees for justice, impartiality and presumption of innocence.
Sources close to the activist also attending as close-up trial monitors, reassured that Ms. Bemba was detained in the same court-room that trial was held, interrogated by the very same judge and then taken to a neighbouring room to continue testifying, now in hands of Moroccan police officials. Immediately afterwards, Mahfouda was kept in detention at the Moroccan police headquarters in El-Aaiun, the capital of occupied Western Sahara.
Ms. Bemba thus ended up in a judicial case made up against herself, by accusing her to have “hindered justice” and “an aggression against a public officer carrying out his job”, the same sources confirmed.
For the time being and as denounced by her family, Mahfouda is still being held at those premises, isolated and in incommunicado detention, without communicating any formal charges brought up neither to her or her defence lawyer.
We ought to remember that the activist has been a victim suffering arbitrary detention, torture and both physical and psychological abuse, and do not want to forget the freezing of her salary for several months, all these being means of repression for her activism and well-known favourable stance towards the Polisario Front’s aims and the independence of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic.