Abduction and rape of a Saharawi girl

Sunday 23 February 2009, 7pm, Maatallah district of Laayoune/Western Sahara
“Walking through the Maatallah district I am surprised by six plain clothed policemen led by the famous torturer Mohamed El Hassouni, known by the name of “Moustache” who force me to get into their vehicle. When we get close to the College Allal ben Adellah they blindfold me and handcuff my hands behind my back. I wanted to know the reason for this abduction. The one called El Aalaoui said that I had gone beyond the limits by meeting European human rights defenders, particularly the latest encounter with the French woman, Michèle Decaster in the presence of Nguia El Haoussi. Throughout the journey I receive slaps and kicks, I was not in a good psychological situation, but I was aware that some young Saharawis were following us in a car, they had noticed that the police had kidnapped a Saharawi; at that moment they threw me down by their feet and put their hands over my mouth. We waited a while before the arrival of the officers, including the famous Abd El Aaziz Anouche, nicknamed “Taouhima” who ordered them to undress me and two of them held my hands while Aziz fondled my breasts and kissed me on the mouth. I tried to resist but I lacked the strength. Afterwards he began to interrogate me on my relations with certain human rights activists, in particular Djimi El Ghalia, Brahim Dahan, Brahim Sabbar and Rabab Amaidan; he also

asked me about the graffiti on walls in the Maatallah district and the reception organized by the Saharawis for the activist Hmad Hammad at the end of the previous month. Then he threatened to rape me and to bury me alive and also threatened to dismiss my father from his job and to kidnap my younger brothers. On the subject of my involvement in distributing leaflets in the college Laayoune 3, he threatened and intimidated me to make me give up my studies; then he ordered the police to rape me behind with one of their batons: I will never forget that tragic and inhuman image! They handcuffed me again, this time hands and feet together, then it is Abd El Aaziz Anouch who interrogates me once again on my relationship with the activist Ahmed Sbaï and on the preparations for the celebration of the 33rd anniversary of the foundation of SADR. They threatened to kill me if I posted my statement on the internet. Then they set me free me beside the Hassan II hospital after having stolen the 100 dirhams I had on me. I decided to make this statement so that activists everywhere could intervene, because silence on these crimes would be an encouragement for the torturers to continue to commit more”.

Hayat RGUIBI