The Spanish justice which is examining the cases of several Polisario officials for serious human rights violations against Sahrawis is embarrassing Algeria. The embarrassment is all greater as other countries are urged to follow the Spanish example to challenge Algeria which is hosting the armed movement.
A call was made in this vein by dissident Mustapha Salma Ould Sidi Mouloud, himself a victim of the Polisario injustice simply because he dared to express publicly his support for the Moroccan autonomy proposal for Western Sahara.
Mustapha Salma had been arrested on September 21, 2010 and tortured for several weeks in Algeria. He had been rescued only after the mobilization of international NGOs, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. Under the pressure from these NGOs and international media, Algiers was forced to release him but ordered the Polisario to hand over the “prisoner” to the UNHCR in Mauritania.
Mustapha Salma’s release, however, did not take place without prerequisites. Algiers had actually prohibited Mustapha Salma from returning to the Algerian territory, specifically to the Polisario-controlled Tindouf camps.
Since then, the Sahrawi dissident has been claiming the right of reunion with his wife and children who are still being held in the Tindouf camps, a Polisario’ s common practice to punish Sahrawi opponents.
Today, Mustapha Salma is knowingly supporting the other victims of the Polisario who filed a complaint at the Madrid National Court. The complaint has been declared admissible by Judge Pablo Ruz and hearings started on August 21. Dahi Aguai, president of the Association of Missing people at the hands of the Polisario, and Mrs. Saâdani Malainine were the first victims to testify before the court.
Mustapha Salma calls on other European countries and on the European Parliament to exert pressures on Algiers so that Algerian leaders be held accountable for the abuses committed on Algerian territory by an armed movement against an unarmed population.