Leadership of Norwegian youth party denied access to Western Sahara
Article image
The leadership of the Red Youth Norway stopped in South of Morocco on their way to the occupied territory.
Published 25 January 2017

"We were denied to stay in both Western Sahara and in all of Southern Morocco", says the President of the Red Youth Norway, Linn-Elise Øhn Mehlen over phone to the Support Committee for Western Sahara. Together with nine other members of the Red Youth she tried to travel to the territory that has been under moroccan occupation since 1975. The group were unsuccessful.

"We are now on our way to Tiznit further north in Morocco, as this was the only option given to us by the moroccan police", says Mehlen.

The last year Morocco has thrown out UN-troops, and refused both Ban Ki-Moon and the UN Special Envoy to visit the occupied territories. Foreign visitors are receiving the same treatment. Meanwhile, the local population are subjected to grave human rights violations committed by the authorities.

"We long tried to get some answers to why we were not allowed to continue driving, but had to give up when we realised they were about to confiscate our phones", explains Secretary General Anja Ariel Tørnes Brekke.

When the Support Committee was in contact with the group, they were having dinner at a café on the side of the road.

"At the moment the surveillance is heavy. They are driving back and forth past where we are sitting", says Brekke.

Their car was pulled over around 18:30 near the town Bouizakarne and ordered to turn around and drive in the direction of Sidi Ifni. After one and a half hours were they again stopped, this time in a police checkpoint and were denied to continue. The same experience was reported by a delegation earlier the same day from other youth politicians.

The Red Youth Norway Delegation consists of:
  • Linn-Elise Øhn Mehlen, President
  • Tobias Lund, Kragerø, Vice Precident
  • Anja Ariel Tørnes Brekke, Stavanger, Secretary General
  • Tale Ellingvåg, Kragerø, Member of National Board
  • Kristine Sørheim, Ringsaker, Member of National Council
  • Johanne Sørheim

  • 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 2021

    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 2021

    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 2021

    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 2021