UPES received a letter from the Japanese Association on the subject. Here is the complete text of the letter:
04 February 2009
Mr. Malainin Lakhal
Secretary General of
the Saharawi Journalists and Writers Union (UPES)
Saharawi refugee camps
SJJA concerned about the health of Mustapha Abd Diem and supports the campaign for his release
Dear Mr. Malainin Lakhal
It is with deep concern that Sahara Japan Journalist Association (SJJA) address you this letter to express its anxiousness about the health of Mr. Mustapha Abd Daiem, Saharawi short-stories writer, human rights activist and member of UPES, imprisoned in the Moroccan prison of Ait Melloul. SJJA also assure you of its support to the campaign UPES is undertaking for the release of the imprisoned writer.
Mustapha Abd Diaem was arrested last October 2008, in the city of Assa, because he openly supported his compatriots after many Saharawis were oppressed by police in a demonstration, and many houses ransacked and demonstrators beaten and dispersed.
He appeared in November the 4th before the Moroccan court in the city of Gulmim, and we understand that he completely and clearly rejected the police report on the basis of which he was incriminated, asserting that it was falsified and changed by police. Incomprehensively, the Moroccan court didn’t take note of his petition and he was sentenced on the basis of these false "evidences", to 3 years imprisonment, about 6200 US dollars and 10 years ban from public employment. SJJA, joins Amnesty International in questioning the fairness of his trial.
On their side, the Saharawi journalist and his family undertook a 14 days hunger strike to protest against the injustice Mustapha was victim to. Members of the family, especially his sister Khadija, his nephew and his father lost consciousness many times and all their supporters feared for their lives. UPES, and many Saharawi organisations called on the family to stop the hunger strike so as to enable UPES to campaign for the release of the prisoner without pressures.
SJJA highly appreciate the family’s positive response to this call, and would like to assure all the members of Abd Daiem’s family, UPES and Saharawis, its commitment to continue the fight to raise awareness about the issue of all Saharawi prisoners of conscience, about the plight of the Saharawi people and their inalienable rights to self-determination and independence.
SJJA, would like to recall that Western Sahara, the last colony in Africa, is on the UN’s list of Non-Self-Governing Territories and that the Saharawi people must be given a chance to freely decide on the future of their territory in accordance with the UN doctrine on decolonization. It is unacceptable to tolerate Morocco’s violations of human rights, widely condemned by international organisations such as AI and Human Rights Watch, and it is time to work together for the implementation of the international law in this part of the world.
SJJA (Sahara-Japan Journalist’s Association