Alternative Nobel prize to Western Sahara

Human rights defender Aminatu Haidar from Western Sahara is awarded the prestigious Right Livelihood Award in Sweden for 2019, with, among others environmental activist Greta Thunberg.

Published 26 September 19

Human rights activist Aminatu Haidar is awarded the Right Livelihood Award for sitt «ikkevoldelige arbeid, til forsvar for rettferd og selvbestemmelse for Vest-Saharas folk, til tross for fengsling og tortur».  

The award, handed out annually in Stockholm, is often referred to as the ‘alterntive Nobel peace prize’ in view of the background of how the prize was first established.  

Ole von Uexkull, director of the Right Livelihood Foundation, expressed that «Aminatou Haidar’s courage and determination to organise nonviolent resistance and speak up internationally is an inspiration for everyone who believes in justice».

«The Sahrawi people have been suffering under Moroccan occupation for more than 40 years and any opposition is brutally punished», von Uexkull told.

Haidar receives the award together with the Chinese lawyer Guo Jianmei, climate activist Greta Thunberg and the Brazilian indigenous leader Davi Kopenawa. The prize is given together with 1 million Swedish kroners, to be spent on the work of the prize winners.

«This is a recognition of my non-violent struggle and the just cause of the Sahrawi people. Despite military occupation and violations of fundamental human rights, they continue their peaceful struggle. The Sahrawis deserve to be supported by all so that, one day, they will achieve independence and freedomt», Haidar told.

Haidar has been through several rounds of torture. She has spent four years in Moroccan jails for her work. 

Haidar has been in Norway several times. In 2016, she attended the Oslo Freedom Forum - see her speach on Oslo Freedom Forum here.

The award is formally given at a ceremony in Stockholm on 4 December. 

Disappeared Saharawi prisoner reappeared, still in isolation

The political prisoner Elhafed Iaazza is no longer missing in jail, but remains in total isolation, on the 10th week. “I will kill you”, prison director told him today. 

23 December 20

Norway concerned about recent developments in Western Sahara

In a letter to Norwegian civil society today, the Norwegian minister of foreign affairs expressed that self-determination for the people of Western Sahara must constitute the basis for the solution to the conflict. 

15 December 20

Detention of former Saharawi political prisoner found illegal by UN experts

The Saharawi human rights defender Ali Saadouni was illegally imprisoned, unlawfully judged and tortured by Moroccan authorities for putting up Western Sahara flags in a roundabout. This is the conclusion of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention in a decision published today. 

11 December 20

Protect journalists in Western Sahara, organisations warn

Sahrawi journalists reporting on the massive crackdown against civilians in occupied Western Sahara are themselves facing repression and arbitrary arrest by Moroccan forces, according to a report and public appeal by four organisations.

04 December 20