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Cablegate: Sahrawi Activist Haidar's Safe Return to Layoune

VZCZCXRO1062
OO RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHKUK RUEHROV
DE RUEHRB #2124 3201435
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 161435Z NOV 06
FM AMEMBASSY RABAT
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5199
INFO RUEHEE/ARAB LEAGUE COLLECTIVE
RUEHMD/AMEMBASSY MADRID 5605
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 4437
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0640

UNCLAS RABAT 002124

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PREL PGOV MO
SUBJECT: SAHRAWI ACTIVIST HAIDAR'S SAFE RETURN TO LAYOUNE


Sensitive but Unclassified. Please Protect Accordingly.

1. (SBU) Aminetou Haidar, the prominent Sahrawi human rights
activist, returned to her home in Layoune on November 15,
following an extended trip abroad. According to an account
posted on the website of the Polisario Front, confirmed by
Embassy contacts in Western Sahara, Haidar arrived at Layoune
airport on a flight from the Canary Islands accompanied by
two representatives of Spanish human rights NGOs as well as
an activist Italian judge.

2. (SBU) The flight was met by Moroccan police, who insisted
that only Moroccan citizens could disembark. Haidar
initially balked, maintaining that she is a Sahrawi rather
than Moroccan citizen (although she travels on a Moroccan
passport) but she eventually disembarked and was admitted
without incident. The European NGO representatives did not
deplane at Layoune.

3. (SBU) A large group of Sahrawi activists gathered at
Haidar's Layoune home to welcome her back. There was a
conspicuous security force presence outside Haidar's home,
but no reported interference in her "welcome back" party.

4. (SBU) The Embassy will continue to monitor closely
Haidar's status and the overall human rights situation in
Western Sahara.


******************************************
Visit Embassy Rabat's Classified Website;
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/nea/rabat
******************************************

Riley

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