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Kerry Kennedy: Morocco has pressured UN to ignore Western Sahara

Mohamed Lamine Haidala was 21 years old when he died from wounds that his family say were inflicted by five Moroccan men.
An ethnic Saharwi, Haidala was attacked, beaten, and stabbed in the neck in El Aaiun, Western Sahara on 31 January. His family insist he was yet another victim in a territory where the native Sahrawis are constantly subjected to abuses by Moroccan authorities or by Moroccan settlers who enjoy an environment of near-total impunity.

Haidala did not die immediately. His family believe his death was the result of incompetent hospital care which saw him receive stitches without anaesthetic. His treatment was regularly interrupted by trips to a police station.
He died on 8 February, from complications resulting from his wounds. Against the family’s protests, Moroccan police immediately confiscated the body and buried it in an unknown location.
Stories like Haidala’s are all too common in Western Sahara, where there are large-scale human rights violations on a daily basis. Reports by Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, Amnesty International, and other non-governmental organisations have demonstrated that abuses like the one that ended Haidala’s life are disturbingly commonplace.

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