Morocco has deported eight foreigners for supporting prisoners arrested for participating in protests that took place in Laayoune, the main city of the Western Sahara, in Southern Morocco, according to report by the Associated Press.
On Thursday, Morocco’s official news agency, the Maghreb Arab Press, reported the eviction of five Spaniards, two Frenchmen, and one Belgian for their involvement in “undermining public order.”
It remains unclear whether the prisoners helped by the foreigners were those arrested in November 2010 for participating in the Gdiem Izik protest camp outside Laayoune.
The camp, which housed 12,000 Saharans, or Sahrawis, was set up in October 2010 to protest the living conditions of the people living in the Saharan cities under Moroccan sovereignty.
A month after the protesters established the camp, the kingdom’s security forces dismantled it. The ensuing clashes caused the arrest and injury of several people and led to the death of 10 Moroccan officers and two Sahrawis, according to Moroccan officials.
Last November, the Human Rights Watch called for the retrial or release of 21 Sahrawis still in prison for participating in the protests.