In Morocco-occupied Western Sahara, dozens of masked agents broke into the home of renowned Sahrawi activist Sultana Khaya early Monday morning and detained three well-known human rights defenders. The activists say they were taken to the police station in the city of Boujdour, tortured for two hours and then driven to a remote location in the desert, where they were dumped. The raid follows months of harassment and assaults against Sultana and her family in and around their home, where Sultana has been held under house arrest since November 19. It’s part of a wider Moroccan crackdown on Sahrawi activists this week.
This comes after Axios reported Secretary of State Tony Blinken told Morocco’s foreign minister during a phone call in late April that the Biden administration would not reverse President Trump’s recognition of Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara. The State Department has not confirmed the report. Morocco has occupied the territory since 1975 in defiance of the United Nations and international law. U.S. recognition came as Morocco agreed to establish diplomatic relations with Israel. Click here to see our documentary, “Four Days in Western Sahara: Africa’s Last Colony.”