The Moroccan occupation authorities arrested five prominent Saharawi activists at a checkpoint north of El Ayoun. They were held for hours before being allowed to continue on their way to their homes in the city.
The 5 activists, including 2 journalists, were interrogated and subjected to physical and psychological abuse in a separate room.
Salha Boutengiza, a Saharawi journalist, denounced in an interview with Equipe Media that she and Maalouma Baih had been sexually harassed and severely beaten by well-known officials who have been involved in serious human rights violations.
Three others received threats against their lives. They are Mohamed Saleh Zerouali, a journalist with Equipe Media, El Ouaara Khaya and Dhahba Sidmou.
The activists were detained after their return from the reception of the former Saharawi political prisoner Yahya Mohamed El Hafed who was released after serving his 15-year sentence.