The Peruvian authorities have reiterated their denial of allegations made by Khadijetou El Mokhtar, the “ambassador” of the self-proclaimed Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), regarding her visit to the country.
El Mokhtar was denied access to Peru on September 9 on the basis of an order issued by the National Immigration Authority, in accordance with migration laws in force in the country, reported Maghreb Arab Press (MAP). Despite seeking to advocate for the SADR once in the country, El Mokhtar tried to enter with a Spanish passport, but her documentation was not recognized by local authorities.
She has since been staying in the airport, after having refused to leave the country.
The Peruvian decision to detain El Mokhtar came after she introduced herself as the “ambassador” of the SADR in Lima’s airport. Following her arrest, El Mokhtar submitted an appeal to the Peruvian immigration authorities, describing herself as a Spanish citizen and asking them to lift the ban on her. The Peruvian authorities refused her entry, in light of her contradictory claims.
The separatist representative chose to remain illegally in one of the immigration offices at Lima Airport after she refused to vacate the premises. El Mokhtar also refused to leave Peru after a free evacuation proposal was provided to her by the Peruvian authorities.
According to a statement issued by the Peruvian immigration services, El Mokhtar also “rejected the possibility of entering the country to conduct only-tourist activities,” reported MAP.
“The immigration authorities have acted in full compliance with the requirements of the Constitution and laws in force against that Spanish citizen [El Mokhtar], who does not have a diplomatic visa issued by the Peruvian authorities, who can recognize her as a diplomat,” added the statement.
The statement added that El Mokhtar “did not have an official appointment to hold a meeting with the Ministerial Bureau of Foreign Affairs or the presidency of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Peruvian Congress.”
The statement explained that El Mokhtar had spent 37 days in Peru, designated as a tourist.
“During her stay in Peru from?June 10 to July 18 as a tourist, El Mokhtar engaged herself in several political activities and has introduced herself as the ambassador of the ‘proclaimed Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic,’ with which Peru has suspended its diplomatic ties, and perpetrated acts in violation of the conditions outlined in the migration law and regulations,” added the statement.
Pursuant to Article 154 of the Migration Act, the Migration Services Directorate published an order concerning this foreign citizen for her involvement in activities that violate a national public policy, explained the document. The statement added that El Mokhtar had taken the authorities by surprise when she introduced herself as a Spanish tourist “when in reality she intended to conduct public political activities.”
“The allegations made by El Mokhtar concerning her arrest by the authorities are unfounded,” explained the statement.