Western Sahara Activist on Hunger Strike
The Western Sahara is a disputed territory in North Africa bordering Morocco, Mauritania, and Algeria. Formerly controlled by Spain, Morocco has occupied most of the territory since 1975, just when the Western Sahara was gaining its independence from Spain. In October a Western Saharan independence activist called Aminatou Haidar was in New York to receive the 2009 Civil Courage prize for her non-violent resistance to the Moroccan occupation of Sahrawi land. She is often called the “Sahrawi Gandhi.” On her return she was deported to Lanzarote for refusing to acknowledge Morroco as her home.
Scottish writer Paul Laverty and British director Ken Loach issued a joint statement on December 1st in support of her. Haidar is in the third week of a hunger strike after being deported against her will by Moroccan authorities occupying her homeland. You can watch Democracy Now!’s coverage of Haidar’s plight on video here.