Two Norwegians deported from occupied Western Sahara
Article image
International secretary of Red Youth of Norway, Peder Østring, and fellow traveller Sofie Brunvoll were at 12:30 today deported from occupied Western Sahara.
Published 21 January 17


Click on image above for high resolution.

"Seven police officers came to the house where we were having a meeting with local Saharawis. They came in and confiscated our passports and requested us to follow them", Mr. Østring told the Norwegian Support Committee for Western Sahara on phone, noon 21 January.

The two travelled to the territory to talk with Saharawis regarding the referendum which the people of the territory is entitled to. Parts of the territory has been occupied by Morocco since 1975.

The Norwegian duo arrived El Aaiun the evening of 20 January, and spent the night at a local hotel. This morning - as they had a meeting with a local Saharawi group - a group of police officers showed up at the door. They police officers, plain-clothed, confiscated their passports, and requested them to follow them.

The two were Ms. Sofie Brunvoll (21 years, student at the University of Oslo) and Peder Brunvoll, 22 years.

The Norwegian Support Committee for Western Sahara was - via phone - witness to a conversation between Ms. Brunvoll at the checkpoint in El Aaiun, where they their passports were returned and they were ordered to leave.

The police officers repeatedly refused to explain why they were ordered out.

Brunvoll: "Can we come back tomorrow?"
Police officer: "No"
Brunvoll: "Why not?
Police: "Orders"

Mr. Østring told that a man on a motor bike, which could have been an under-cover police officer, had followed them to the Saharawi home that same morning.

"One of the tires of our rental car had been punctured during the time we were inside for the meeting", he told, saying they had to stop by a garage to change tires, accompanied by the police, before they could be expelled.

UN human rights expert decries “clampdown” on human rights defenders

Morocco must stop targeting human rights defenders and journalists standing up for human rights in Western Sahara, and allow them to work without reprisals, UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, said today.

01 July 21

Sultana's home raided by police, activists arrested

In an early morning raid today, masked agents terrorized and assaulted the home of the Saharawi human rights defender Sultana Khaya, stole belongings and took three activists to an undisclosed location.

10 May 21

UN experts urge Morocco to release imprisoned Sahrawi journalist

On 7 June 2019, videos began to circulate showing Moroccan police brutally beating up a Saharawi journalist in occupied Western Sahara. Today, a UN opinion calling for his release from prison was made public. 

07 February 21

Sultana has spent two months in house arrest

The Saharawi activist Sultana Khaya and her family has for almost 10 weeks been harrassed by Moroccan police when leaving or entering their home in occupied Western Sahara. Help us to denounce. 

26 January 21