domingo, 1 de fevereiro de 2009

UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office aware of the trial of Mustapha Abd Daiem

The Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Bill Rammell, said last Tuesday in a written answer to Parliament, that his government is aware of the trial and case of the Saharawi journalist and short-stories writer, Mustapha Abd Daiem.

The British official answered a question by member of Parliament, Katy Clark (Ayrshire North & Arran, Labour), saying that his government is “aware of the trial of Mustafa Abdel Dayem, which was discussed during a European Union meeting in Rabat on 16 January”.

He also asserted that “the trial will be discussed again at the European Union Heads of Mission meeting in Rabat on 28 January 2009. We will continue to monitor developments alongside our European Union colleagues”.

Mustapha Abd Daiem, journalist and short-stories writer member of UPES, was arrested on October 2008, sentenced to 3 years imprisonment and more than 6000 fine in addition to 10 years ban from public employment, because of his political opinion and support to the independence of Western Sahara.

Amnesty International declared in a press release that it “is concerned that aspects of Mustafa Abdel Dayem’s trial proceedings did not meet international fair trial standards as he was denied the right to legal counsel during his appeal hearing. His case was submitted several days ago to Morocco’s highest court, the Court of Cassation, which can review the alleged irregularities in his trial and, if confirmed, dismiss the ruling and send the case for retrial by a lower court”.

Amnesty International also “fears that Mustafa Abdel Dayem’s conviction may have been intended to punish him for his public support for the right to self-determination for the people of Western Sahara and for the POLISARIO Front, which calls for an independent state in Western Sahara and runs a self-proclaimed government-in-exile in refugee camps in south-western Algeria”.

The case of Mustapha Abd Daiem is getting more and more known to international organization especially Amnesty International (North Africa) and Amnesty International US. The international organization issued a press release about his unfair trial and the US branch is publishing an action on its page about Mustapha.

On another level, a campaign of letters was launched in solidarity with UPES in its endeavour to support Mustapha. The first to express support were Japanese journalist supporting Western Sahara, followed by the UK Western Sahara Campaign, and Australia Western Sahara Association.

This campaign of letters is the first step in a bigger campaign that will develop in a second step to be a campaign of letters to Foreign Affairs Ministries in all countries that can exercise pressures on Morocco on the subject.

“The campaign, UPES Secretary General, Malainin Lakhal said, will take other steps in the future, and adopt additional ways to put more pressures on the Moroccan colonial authorities, until Rabat knows that it is no use to arrest Saharawi human rights activists, writers or normal citizens, and that the only good option is to release the political prisoners and enable the Saharawi people to exercise their right to self-determination and independence”.

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