- The Western Sahara national Lembarki Hamdi Salek Mahayub this night died in hospital in the Sahrawi capital El Aaiun. His death is attributed to the heavy torture he was subjected to during his detention at the Moroccan police commissariat.
Mr Mahayub, who was born in El Aaiun in 1974, is reported to have died as consequence of heavy torture by the Moroccan police chief Ich Aboulhassan. The Moroccan police forces operating in occupied Western Sahara are ill famed for their brutal methods against Sahrawi civilians, in particular since the popular uprising - the "Intifada" - that started early this year.
Following the death of Mr Mahayub - who has already been named a martyr of the Sahrawi Intifada - demonstrations in El Aaiun have only become more popular. A new spiral of violence cannot be ruled out.
Hundreds of Sahrawi citizens started grouping in El Aaiun today at noon. The protesters gathered in front of the house of the family of the diseased in a demonstration that aims at becoming permanent. There are unconfirmed reports that the occupation forces have already responded violently against the demonstrators.
Meanwhile, Moroccan occupiers continue their attacks on Sahrawi human rights activists in the occupied territory. Brahim Dahan, president of the Sahrawi Association of Victims of Human Rights Violations and a prominent activist, today was kidnapped by the unity of urban security and his whereabouts are uncertain. There are fears he may be tortured by Moroccan state agents.
The Sahrawi Intifada started in early May this year, as a relatively small protest against human rights violations in the occupied territory. The violent response by Moroccan security forces led to the rapid rise of a popular movement, protesting the Moroccan occupation. Hundreds of activists have been arrested all over the territory and most of those report having been severely tortured.
Mr Mahayub is the second Sahrawi dying in consequence of torture since the Intifada started. Many more have been severely injured. The Intifada nevertheless continues with unchecked force.
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