Thursday, December 17, 2009

Western Saharan Activist Sent to Hospital

Saharan activist sent to hospital

A Western Sahara independence activist who has been on hunger strike for more than a month has been taken to hospital on the Spanish Canary Islands.

Aminatou Haidar, 42, had been fasting at Lanzarote Airport in protest after Moroccan authorities expelled her.

They denied her entry to the disputed region of Western Sahara and confiscated her passport, saying she had rejected her Moroccan nationality.

Morocco controls the Western Sahara but many there want self-determination.

The mother-of-two was returning to Laayoune, Western Sahara's main town, after accepting a human rights award in the US when she was stopped by the authorities.

She has turned down Spain's offer of citizenship or political asylum.

She is reported to be suffering from severe stomach and abdominal pains and vomiting, but refusing to be force-fed.

"The treatment she is receiving is just to relieve and calm the pain and Aminatou will continue her hunger strike," her lawyer Ines Miranda is quoted by Reuters news agency as saying.

Ms Haidar's protest at her treatment has won the support of many prominent Spaniards including actor Javier Bardem and film director Pedro Almodovar - giving it a high profile.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2009/12/17 10:00:37 GMT

No comments: