Sahrawi activist detained at Loiu airport and threatened with deportation to Morocco released

Sahrawi activist detained at Loiu airport and threatened with deportation to Morocco released
Sahrawi activist detained at Loiu airport and threatened with deportation to Morocco released

The NGO Zehar Errefuxiatuekin has reported that Youssef El Mahmoudi, a Sahrawi activist who had been held since June 23 at Loiu airport and was threatened with deportation to Morocco, was released in the early hours of Friday to Saturday. In recent days, pressure had grown to process the asylum request. More details of the resolution of the case will be announced in the next few hours.

Born in 2000, he is a Sahrawi activist and law student. While being held in the ‘denied room’ at Bilbao airport to avoid deportation, he began a hunger strike last Wednesday. Due to his delicate state of health, he had to be hospitalised early on Friday morning, but was returned to the room a few hours later. As he himself has expressed, travelling to Morocco for him would be “going back to hell”. “I decided to come because of the harassment I was subjected to by the Moroccan occupation authorities and the impossibility of living with full guarantees of my rights as a Sahrawi within the occupied territory. I was an activist within the Sahrawi student movement, we distributed leaflets, hung banners in Moroccan institutions and wrote slogans for the independence of Western Sahara on the walls of different institutions. I was arrested by the Moroccan authorities, tortured the last time. I cannot think of future plans. I am not trying to think about it, but I cannot accept my return to hell,” he warned in a letter.

A deportation flight was scheduled for this Friday with Air Arabia, but the pilot, citing “security reasons”, refused to take Youssef El Mahmoudi on board. He was to be sent to Morocco this weekend. In addition to social organisations, various institutions and even the minister Sira Rego had urged the National Police not to carry out the deportation of the activist.

 
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