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Student Parliament of Bergen expelled upon landing in Western Sahara

Leader and international responsible of the Student Parliament of Bergen, Håkon Randgaard Mikalsen and Eirik Lie Reikerås were thrown out of occupied Western Sahara this evening, after landing with a flight from Casablanca.
Published: 24.01 - 2017 20:57Printer version    
Above (from the left) Håkon Randgaard Mikalsen and Eirik Reikerås. Click for high resolution. Free use.

Tuesday evening, Håkon Randgaard Mikalsen and Eirik Lie Reikerås landed at El Aaiun airport in Western Sahara, and were immediately detained. They were not allowed to remain in the territory, and were obliged to delete video clips from their phones. Now, they are deported in a car.

"They did not trust our intentions", Mikalsen told. "They had received visits from Norwegians earlier this week. But we did not receive any further information. They did not tell what they believed our intentions were."

They had flown from Casablanca in northern Morocco after having participated as observers in a trial against Saharawi political prisoners. The purpose of the trip to El Aaiun was to meet local students and human rights defenders and to learn about the situation they live and work under in the occupied territory.

«We had hoped to meet representatives of our friendship association in Western Sahara, but it seems the Moroccan police wanted it otherwise", president of

Vi håpet å møte representanter for vår vennskapsorganisasjon i Vest-Sahara, men det ville ikke det marokkanske politiet ha noe av» sier Mr. Mikalsen told.

Despite the Norwegian students had nothing wrong, they had been followed by what they believe are police officers since their arrival to Morocco.

“We have noticed several civilian dressed men having followed us for hours, non-stop, both in car and by foot" Mikalsen said.

After 40 years of Moroccan occupation, Morocco has still not built any universities in Western Sahara. Saharawis must therefore study in Morocco, under Moroccan curricula, only to return to Western Sahara. There, they see employment are given to settlers.

«The fact that Morocco risks international media exposure for having deported foreign students, journalists and politicians, rather than allowing us to speak to Saharawi students and youth, tells quite a bit about how the situation under which these people live and work», Mikalsen told over a phone from the airport in Western Sahara.

34 other foreigners have been deported from - or refused access to Western Sahara over the course of the last four days.



24.06 - 2019 / 24.06 - 2019Verdict on Saharawi journalist to be made in two weeks
07.06 - 2019 / 07.06 - 2019Norwegian government refutes Moroccan propaganda
19.05 - 2019 / 19.05 - 2019Two Norwegian trial observers deported from Western Sahara
17.03 - 2019 / 17.03 - 2019Risking 2 years in jail for Facebook Live video
05.02 - 2019 / 05.02 - 2019Western Sahara friendship group established at Norwegian parliament
15.01 - 2019 / 15.01 - 2019The UN asks for immediate release of Mbarek Daoudi
11.01 - 2019 / 11.01 - 2019Shipping company drops Western Sahara transports
30.12 - 2018 / 30.12 - 2018Western Sahara not part of Norway-Morocco aviation agreement
10.06 - 2018 / 10.06 - 2018The 'Group of Friends' refuses inclusion of friends of Western Sahara
27.11 - 2017 / 27.11 - 2017Alarming development for the Gdeim Izik prisoners
25.09 - 2017 / 25.09 - 2017New report: Western Sahara activists in arbitrary detention
18.05 - 2017 / 18.05 - 2017Chaos in Gdeim Izik trial continues
29.03 - 2017 / 29.03 - 2017Gdeim Izik trial on pause, to recommence on 8 May
17.03 - 2017 / 17.03 - 2017Follow the Gdeim Izik trial, day by day
19.02 - 2017 / 19.02 - 2017See report on the January 2017 round of Gdeim Izik trial
29.01 - 2017 / 27.01 - 2017Still no decision on Kafkaesque court case against Saharawi activists
26.01 - 2017 / 23.01 - 201757 foreigners expelled from Western Sahara last five days
25.01 - 2017 / 25.01 - 2017Norwegians expelled from Morocco
01.09 - 2016 / 01.09 - 2016Join Amnesty campaign for the Saharawi prisoners
27.08 - 2016 / 27.08 - 2016Kosmos Energy misinforms about Western Sahara and OECD


Since 1975, three quarters of the territory of Western Sahara has been occupied by Morocco. A majority of the population is still living in refugee camps in Algeria. Those who remained in their homeland are subjected to serious harassment from the Moroccan occupiers. For more than 40 years the Sahrawis have been waiting for the fullfilment of their legitimate right to self-determination.

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