The Australian organization expressed concerns, in a letter to the Secretary General of UPES, about the injustice to which Mustapha was subjected.
Here is the complete text of the letter:
28 January 2009
Mr. Malainin Lakhal
Saharawi Refugee camps
Free Mustapha Abd Daiem Campaign
I am writing on behalf of the Australia Western Sahara Association (AWSA) to express our support for your campaign for Mustapha Abd Daiem, a Saharawi human rights activist, journalist and member of the Assa-Zag Branch of the Moroccan Association for Human Rights and the Saharawi Journalists’ and Writers’ Union.
We are aware that Mustafa Abd Daiem is currently serving a three year prison sentence in Ait Meloul prison in Morocco and has been on a hunger strike to protest his situation. AWSA is concerned about his recent trial which we understand was highly irregular and thus his current prison sentence is unfair and unjustified.
On 4 November, the Court of First Instance of Guelmim convicted him of offending the flag of the Kingdom of Morocco, rebelling and inciting an armed gathering, participating in the destruction of public property and participating in the contempt of public officials on duty. In addition to the prison term he was fined 50,000 dirhams (approximately US$6,220). The sentence also leaves him unemployed, as it included a prohibition of practicing teaching or working in any educational institution for a period of 10 years.
Mustafa Abdel Dayem and his lawyers insist that the record of his questioning by the Royal Gendarmerie (procès-verbal), on which his conviction was largely based, was falsified and different from the one he originally signed. He was also denied his right to be defended by legal counsel during his appeal trial.
We understand that Mustapha’s treatment is in response to his belief in Saharawi independence. This would appear to be another example of the abuse of the human rights in the occupied territory of Western Sahara, including torture, restriction of freedom of expression and unfair trials for those Saharawis who publicly express opposition to the Moroccan occupation.
For these reasons AWSA strongly supports the campaign run by UPES for the release of Mustapha Abd Daiem.
AWSA Vice President/Secretary
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