Two Sahrawi journalists arrested by Moroccan authorities

El Aaiun (occupied territories), October 2, 2016 (SPS) - The Moroccan authorities arrested Friday two journalists from Sahrawi Media Team (Equipe Média), Said Amidan and Brahim Laajail.

According to a statement released by the team, the two journalists from Equipe Média were students in Agadir and they were traveling aboard a bus of Supratours (subsidiary of the national company ONCF) that made the route between El Aaiún and Agadir.

The two young men were back to university to start the school year. Said is attending the second year of Private Law and Laajail, already graduated in Sociology, is attending the second year of Public Law.

At 2 p.m., Said has sent a text message to Ahmed Ettanji, president of Equipe Média, to inform him that the Moroccan police arrested them on the bus, at the checkpoint south of Gulimín (south Morocco) and led them to the police headquarters in the city. When calling in response to Said ´s phone message, his phone rang unanswered.

The two activists are technicians of Equipe Média. Said films demonstrations and he is the director of documentaries; Brahim makes video editing and produces the video newspaper from Equipe Média.

The head of the DGST (National Territory General Surveillance Directorate) in Gulimín was officer in El Aaiún, his name is Mouloud Boukricha. It is likely that it was he who conducted the interrogations.

The legal period of custody of the Moroccan authorities to instruction is 72 hours, during which the detainees cannot communicate with their families or be assisted by a lawyer.

When contacted by telephone, police headquarters in Gulimín denied the presence of the two journalists at its premises. (SPS)