Another example of the contradictions that rule the world. A person who spreads nonviolence is tortured, prisoned and disappeared, and now made stateless. A person who speaks out for political prisoners and against occupation. She had been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize...but have we heard much about her here in North America? She was recently arrested for refusing to recognize the authority of state oppression. This is the story of Aminatu Haidar. My blogger colleague, Merche Pallares, has asked me help spread the word about Aminatu Haidar, whose recent predicament of being made stateless has been written up by her fellow blogger, Fernando Manero. Merche translated Manero's post on Aminatu. If you wish to read it in its original Spanish language go Merche's blog, as sorry, but I am unable to find the link to Manero's blog.
A brief explanation of her recent arrest: "In November 13, 2009, Aminatou Haidar was arrested on her return to El-Aaiún for allegedly refusing to enter "Morocco" in the "Country" box on her entry card. She later declared that she was not visiting Morocco but Western Sahara. She refuses to accept that Western Sahara is a part of Morocco."
Brief background to Aminetu Haidar's situation below:
Excerpted from an article in the Nov. 26 Portuguese weekly, Avante. The struggle for independence of the Western Sahara from Morocco has been represented by the POLISARIO front.
Morocco is intensifying its repressive policy against the Saharan people, according to the president of the Saharan Arab Democratic Republic, Mohamed Abdelaziz. The evidence for this fact is the recent expulsion from the country of political activist Aminatu Haidar.
Last Nov. 14 Haidar was returning from the United States when Moroccan authorities stopped her from entering El Aiun and reuniting with her family. Instead the next day they sent her, without her passport, to Lanzarote in the Canary Islands [Spain]. Though her health had been damaged by past stays in Moroccan prisons, the 42-year-old Saharan stayed in the airport in that city and began a hunger strike to protest the decision of the government in Rabat [Morocco].
[Among the many protesting internationally were] Portuguese writer José Saramago. In his text, the Nobel-for-Literature winner wrote: “In relation to the Western Sahara, Morocco oversteps all the norms of good conduct” and appeals to the Spanish government for Haidar and the people of the Western Sahara. “We should let Aminatu go back to her home with the recognition of her worth, in the light of day, because it is people like her who give personality to our time and without Aminatu all of us would surely be poorer.”
Below is Merche's translation of Manero's post:
This is a post written by my dear blogger FERNANDO MANERO, which I take the liberty of reproducing because I could have never expressed it better:
So much has been said already about the terrible situation of AMINETU HAIDAR that words have become repetitive and lost in the wind. It has to do with a woman who is ill and has been on a hunger strike for the past twenty days. Abandoned to her fate, but who represents the Saharian tragedy. Embraced by a civil society who sees in her that tragedy but who are impotent in face of the brutality, arrogance and misery of a government--the Moroccan--which has humiliated her and all of us to the point of shame--the Spanish Council has stated that what Rabat is doing is a loathsome humanity offence, against this woman's rights, who simply wants to return to her country, with the legitimacy that the land is hers and not of the illegal occupiers who appropiated it and maintains it usurped and looted, against international legality.
Enough! Not allowing her to return to El Aaiun yesterday on a prepared flight, which, at the last minute, was aborted by the Moroccan government shows that Morocco makes fun of us as well as the international community, human rights and moral decency. This situation becomes a dead end, in a miserable Kafkian labyrinth that, if it continues, will finish with the life of this woman whose health is very weak. Some people in Spain think it's better to keep quiet, not to annoy our southern neighbour, avoid his anger and, therefore, persist with his negative attitude. However, the facts show that it's all the same because nothing upsets him: the Spanish government has maintained a resigned attitude and their negotiations with the Moroccan government haven't gone beyond mere petitions of mercy, which, from what we see, have been cause of more scorn. We cannot expect anything more from the Moroccan government, insensitive to the Saharian tragedy, convinced that nothing nor anyone, in the high world-power spheres, will question its behaviour. An indignant allied silence hovers over this question.
Here is the problem: the indifference of the great world powers, as well as their complicity with a regime that in the Saharian situation violates the established rights earned 34 years ago. We have a European Union silent and obliging, looking to the other side, celebrating its luxurious festivities, without paying attention to the south, satisfied with their privileged relationship with their Moroccan partner to whom they haven't made the slightest reproach.
As far as we know, smiling Banki-Moon, General Secretary of the U.N. whose intervention was solicited, hasn't said a word, while the new Washington leaders deflate in face of a situation they prefer to keep very far away. No one expects anything from the hyperactive Sarkozy the "lightning man" or "soufflé" (strident, superficial and fleeting) to whom nothing moves him; doesn't say a word about it. This debasement of ethics, which were the principles of the origin of the U.N Magna Carta on Civil Rights sixty years ago, is shameful and ignominious.
AMINETU HAIDAR has, once again, been rejected and humiliated and, with her, all the Saharian people and everyone that, in the world, defends the fundamental rights of a human being. Is it that her name causes terror in Morocco, or, simply that she has become the shameful and cynical power-pawn that Mohamed V is determined to win at all costs, knowing that those who "cut the beef" in world politics will never demand the respect owed a person who is dying and, least of all, the execution of the inherent obligations of International Law that in other cases have derived in genocide proceedings, crimes of lesser humanity and impeccable demands?
In January, Spain will assume the presidency of the European Community. Are we going to tolerate the continuation of this situation? It's now or never.