Polisario Fires at Peaceful Protesters in Tindouf Camps

Polisario militiamen fired live ammunition to abort a protest movement by disenchanted Sahrawis, decrying inhumane treatment and violations in the Tindouf camps in Algeria’s southwest.

The protesters were planning a protest in front of the headquarters of the separatist group to express their anger at the death of Salek Brika, a Sahrawi political activists, who died while in detention in a Polisario-run jail called Dhibia.

The Polisario does not tolerate protests in the heavily guarded camps where a population held against its will for decades cannot leave or move freely.

The protesters were dispersed by the Polisario’s intimidating fire as soon as they started chanting “yes to truth, no to a tribal state”, Al Massae newspaper reported.

The protesters accuse the Polisario leadership of assassinating Salek Brika in prison and masking the crime as a “suicide”.

Protests have been building up in the camps since the birth of “the Sahrawi Initiative for Change”, a protest movement demanding an end of the corruption and siege imposed by the Polisario leadership on the Sahrawis in the camps.

The Polisario has often resorted to violence to silence any protest within the camps. In May 2017, the Polisario imposed a curfew in the camps to quell a protest that was going to be staged by the disenchanted population held in inhumane living conditions.

The Polisario militiamen, in connivance with the Algerian army, have reinforced the siege on the Tindouf camps to prevent Sahrawis from fleeing. The Algerian army has on multiple occasions fired at any Sahrawi who attempts to leave the camps.

In March 2017, Algerian soldiers fired without warning at a car outside the Tindouf camps, killing Kari Mohamed Ali El Ouali and his friend Ahmed Lebouiya Sahraou.

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