Sidahmed Lemjeyid was born on the first of March 1959 in Smara, Western Sahara, which at the time was still a Spanish colony. He was 16 years old when Morocco invaded his country. Sidahmed at present lives in El Aaiun. He is not married and has no children.
Sidahmed dedicates all his time to the Saharawi cause. He is the President of CSPRON, the Committee for the Protection of Natural Resources in Western Sahara - an organisation that reports on the plundering of Western Sahara's abundant natural resources by Morocco.
Like many Saharawis, Sidahmed has paid a heavy price for speaking out against the Moroccan colonial power. He was arrested and jailed in 1999 for having participated in large protests in El Aaiun. He was arrested several times in 2005 and jailed for a few months, again for taking part in massive pro-independence demonstrations.
In relation to Gdeim Izik, he was arrested by plain-clothed Moroccan policemen in El Aaiun on 25 December 2010. He was taken to an unknown location where he was interrogated under torture.
Lemjeiyd was condemned to life in prison in 2017 by an extraterritorial court; and was found guilty of participation to murder and of murdering public officials in their line of duty, with intent to kill. Lemjeiyd was found guilty in the absence of criminal evidence, as the main piece of evidence against him are the police records signed under torture, supported by the testimonies from the police men which wrote the now mentioned reports, and witnesses that Lemjeyid urges are declaring falsified testimonies. Lemjeyid declared to the Court of Appeal that he had nothing to do with the camp, and that he had only visited the Gdeim Izik as a human rights activist, where he had interviewed people about their demands and their sufferance. He declared that all the statements were falsified, and the he had nothing to do with them; he was only accused because of his human rights activism.
Morocco occupies the major part of its neighbouring country, Western Sahara. Entering into business deals with Moroccan companies or authorities in the occupied territories gives an impression of political legitimacy to the occupation. It also gives job opportunities to Moroccan settlers and income to the Moroccan government. Western Sahara Resource Watch demands foreign companies leave Western Sahara until a solution to the conflict is found.
It's not easy keeping up with all the different legal proceedings relating to Western Sahara. For the sake of clarity, here's an overview of the five different cases at the Court of Justice of the European Union.
Leading activists from Western Sahara are condemned to sentences ranging from 20 years to life imprisonment in connection to a mass protest in 2010 denouncing the Saharawi people’s social and economic marginalization in their occupied land; the Gdeim Izik protest camp.
At COP22, beware of what you read about Morocco’s renewable energy efforts. An increasing part of the projects take place in the occupied territory of Western Sahara and is used for mineral plunder, new WSRW report documents.