Testimony from the Sahrawi prisoner Mariam Rgaibi
The Sahrawi female Mariam Rgaibi, who is sentenced to 6 years in the prison, “Elaalaoui-Hafidi Fatima Zahra”, is on hunger strike for the third week and her health is deteriorating alarmingly.
Published 09 March 07



I am the Sahrawi female Mariam Rgaibi born in 1972 in Laayoune, Western Sahara. I was arrested on 10th March 2005, being unjustly accused of killing a Sahrawi citizen who had died in unknown circumstances. I was sentenced to 6 years imprisonment in late January 2006 by the court of appeal in Laayoune.

On 8th February 2007, at 00:00 I was astonished by the black prison director and a female civil servant in the prison called “Elaalaoui-Hafidi Fatima Zahra”, ordering me to help some female prisoners being transported to another prison. As soon as I intended to say farewell to them I was pushed by Fatima Zahra into the van. I tried to resist, but I was tortured by four male employees who beat me on my hands, legs and back. Worse than that, they took off my clothes as a humiliating treatment in answer to my resistance. I was forcibly transported without taking my things from more than 10 hours.

After arriving in the local prison in Ait Melloul, in Morocco, I started an open hunger strike calling for sending me back to the black prison in the Western Sahara and demanding a human treatment as a prisoner.

Now, I am still going on the hunger strike for the third week and my health is deteriorating greatly. Therefore, I call all the women’s organizations, human rights associations and individual activists to immediately intervene to save my life and stop the inhuman treatment that I have been subjected to since the release of the prominent Sahrawi political prisoner “Aminatou Haidar”, who had been with me in the same cell in the black prison in Laayoune.

The Sahrawi detainee
Mariam RGAIBI
Prison Number: 9667

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