Statement: Sahrawi Civilians Brutal execution in Algeria

Despite the United Nations stand against arbitrary executions as serious human rights violations, the actual reality of Tindouf camps in regard to the right to life is far away from being respected. Knowing that the international principles have considered the right to life as one of the most important rights (Article 3 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 4 African Charter of Human and Peoples’ Rights, Article 6(1) International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights, Article 2 European Convention on Human Rights, Article 4 American Convention on Human Rights…); the Algerian Authority continues to violate this right and executes peaceful activists.

The Saharan Center for Studies and researches in Development and Human Rights firmly denounces the savage criminal act perpetrated two days ago, October 19, 2020, by a patrol of the Algerian army against two peaceful Sahrawis while they were prospecting for gold in the vicinity of the Dakhla camp south of the Algerian city Auinet Bellakraa (1700Km S/W of the Algerian capital).

The events occurred when Sahrawi gold minors, living in Tindouf camps, were surprised the afternoon of October 19th 2020 by an unexpected strong armed Algerian army patrol in the of the Dakhla camp, their colleagues were able to escape in time but the the two victims were trapped in the excavation ditch where they were looking for metals.

These two Sahrawis, Maha Ould Hamdi Oudl Suelem and Ali Idrissi (see photos attached), were burned alive in cold blood by the Algerian military patrol through introducing gasoline-soaked blankets inside the dich and set them inhumanly on fire. We address here our deepest condolences and sympathy to their families and relatives following this horrendous crime.

Through this statement  we, based on our awareness of the seriousness of the humanitarian situation in the camps and the horror of the continuous violations committed against Sahrawis in Tindouf on the Algerian soil, call for:

We Also:

  • Urge the United Nations mechanisms,the High Commissionerfor Refugees, the high commissioner for Human Rights, and the International community to assume their responsibilities and open an investigation to clear up this horrific crime and apply basic international standards to protect the Sahrawis in Tindouf;
  • Attributeculpability to the Algerian authorities for all the atrocities that are being committed against our defenseless families on its territory.

In view of the above, there is a range of emerging issues in respect of these executions, including the following:

  • What is the Army doing in ensuring justice in the case of the 2 executions in Auinet Bellakraa that we have documented?
  • We are concerned that there appears to be a «intended to execution policy» by the Algerian Army in Tindouf camps, in violation of all laws.
  • What is the Algerian national authorities doing to ensure army patrols follow the law and cooperate with those investigating any executions linked with the Army?
  • In Tindouf camps, we were informed that secret police officers had threatened witnesses. What is the National Algerian authorities are doing to ensure witnesses to the executions are not harassed, threatened or eliminated?