Please do not ask me to be silent. Allow me to breathe (12)

The next day, I think, the investigators returned with a verbal message from their chief “Muhammad al-Wali Akik”, head of the Front Intelligence at the time, asking me to make the task of his subordinates easier, with a suggestion that we make yesterday's friendly conversation as an interrogation report and sign it. 

I agreed without hesitation, not because I accept to submit to the investigation under those conditions, I am still imprisoned under a tree, but I know and respect "Ould Aakik". I was embarrassed to deny his request and I have nothing to be ashamed of in any investigation they might want.

The investigators left. We moved again to a more rugged place and to my companion tree that became my cell, and my monotonous diary of observing ants, beetles and young plants, in a narrow valley in the rugged mountainous "Lemgasem" region between Tifariti and Mehaires.

On one of the following nights, the leader of the group asked me to get into the car without my luggage, and we went on a night trip. He did not tell me where, as usual, we were on a permanent trip.

After a while, we arrived at the headquarters of the Fourth Military District in Mehaires. The car carrying me stopped adjacent to a gate guarded by soldiers. One of them, masked with only his eyes visible, opened the car door on the side where I sat, he took my forearm and tied my hand with iron cuffs then took me inside the administrative complex.

In one of the rooms they took me to, there was a simple table and three chairs, two of which for the military prosecutor of the front “Sayed Brahim Ould Moulay El-Zein” and one of his secretaries. He asked me to sit on the third chair, but I remained standing and said that I would not sit until I knew who ordered me to be tied at the gate and why? There was silence in the hall, until my cousin, the director of security in the district, intervened and took responsibility for the mistake that happened.

I sat and the attorney wanted to initiate the interrogation, so I interrupted him, asking him to read my rights first. It has been a week so far since my arrest, I am in a situation more like kidnapping than arrest.

He said that the military investigative judge came with him and that he was waiting for me to read my rights to me after we finished the interrogation, and that from that moment on I was under the responsibility of the SADR judiciary.

I did not want to enter into an argument with him, as he is following orders and has no decisional role in the matter. Therefore, I played along with much curiosity to hear the accusations against me.

The agent put his hand in the pocket of his uniform and took out a piece of less than half a sheet of paper, and read the accusation document:

You are accused of:

1- Desertion to the enemy

2- Communicating with the enemy

3- Leaking confidential information to the enemy affecting the security of the sahrawi state

4- Harming the morale of the Sahrawi army

5- Violating national unity

6- Serving the enemy

It was not a funny situation but I felt an overwhelming desire to laugh, and I may have said sarcastically without thinking: Sounds like an execution to me.

I told the agent that I did not understand anything from what he had just read. I heard him recite the headlines in the chapter on treason and espionage from the Sahrawi law whose preparing and drafting I hosted myself and was a member of its committee in 1993. Would you please explain to me how, where and when all these crimes were committed. The investigators who came to me did not mention any of these headlines.


The story continues…

Mustapha Salma Ould Sidi Mouloud is a former police chief of the Polisario Front, and political dissident.