CAT declares admissible Naama Asfari’s complaint against Morocco

Paris, May 29, 2015 (SPS) - The Committee Against Torture (CAT) declared “admissible” the complaint filed by Naama Asfari, Saharawi human rights defender, against Morocco, urging Rabat to respond to the victim’s accusations, informed Thursday the Action by Christians Against Torture (ACAT) in a dispatch published on its website.
Arrested on 7 November 2011 in occupied Saharawi city of El Aaiun, Naama Asfari accused Moroccan authorities of having tortured and convicted him on the basis of forced confessions, extracted with impunity.
Asfari is part of a group accused of being behind the Saharawi protest camp, known as Gdeim Izik, erected in October 2010 in protest to the living conditions of the Sahrawi people in the occupied territory of Western Sahara.
ACAT points out that Naama Asfari “was beaten until he lost consciousness during his arrest after being interrogated and tortured for five days, first at police station and then at gendarmerie station in El Aaiun, where he was arbitrarily detained without informing his family.”
“On 12 November 2011, he was brought by night before the court in El Aaiun to sign a register under duress, before being transferred along with other Saharawi prisoners into Salé prison in Rabat, to be tried by a military court, despite being civilian,” added ACAT.
“On 16 February 2013, after more than 27 months in custody, he was sentenced to 30 years of imprisonment by the military court in Rabat alongside with 23 co-defendants also sentenced to long prison terms, following nine days of an unfair trial marked by the extraction of confessions obtained under torture. No medical examination or investigation was conducted with respect to the allegations of abuse made repeatedly by almost all of the defendants,” the same source highlighted. (SPS)