Moroccan police expelled before the week-end a Norwegian delegation who had travelled to Western Sahara to discuss with the Saharawi people the situation of Morocco's illegal oil industry in the territory.
Published 28 March 2015
Photo above: Martine Jahre (left) and Thea Willoch Njaastad (right). Click on image for high resolution. The picture can be used freely.
28 March at 0430 in the morning, the two Norwegian students Thea Willoch Njaastad and Martine Jahre were deported from the town of Dakhla in the south of occupied Western Sahara. At the last check-point before entering the city, they were stopped by large number of police officers.
"They took us out of the bus and told that they had received orders to not allow us into the city", Jahre told on a phone.
Thereafter they were placed in an escort northwards to the capital city of Western Sahara, El Aaiun, accompanied by no less than four police vehicules.
They arrived El Aaiun arnd noon 28 March. On the last checkpoint into El Aaiun they were filmed and interviewed by nine police officers, ordering them not to spend the night at the house of Saharawis in El Aaiun, and that they were only allowed to stay in hotels. They were also told not to meet anyone during the stay.
The two students are both active in the Norwegian student association SAIH. They were particularly interested in studying how the Saharawis view the plunder of the territory, precisely how they assess Total's and Kosmos Energy's operations in Western Sahara.
However, the Moroccan authorities prevented them from doing that.
Read more about Kosmos Energy's oil drilling
in the occupied territory here.
Last week, two Swedish delegations were refused entry to Western Sahara, including a Swedish Member of European Parliament.