Mohamed Embarek Lefkir was born in 1975 in El Aaiun, Western Sahara. He is not married and doesn't have any children.
On 12 November 2010, Mohamed was arrested on the back of his participation in the Gdeim Izik camp. He was taken to the Black prison in El Aaiun, and was detained there until 17 June 2011 when he was temporarily released. But upon his release, the police arrested him and brought him to Salé prison, in Morocco proper, about 1200 kilometres north from El Aaiun.
Before pitching his tent in Gdeim Izik, Mohamed was part of a delegation of Saharawi human rights defenders who had been invited to Algiers by the Frente Polisario - the Saharawi liberation movement based in Algerian refugee camps.
Lefkir was sentenced to 25 years by the Court of Appeal on the 19th of July; and found guilty of participation to the murdering of public officials in their line of duty, with intent to kill. During the questioning of Lefkir on the 22nd of March, Lefkir declared, met with screams from the prosecution office, that; “I condemn the policy of hunger that the Morocco occupier is leading, and the policy of foreign companies which supports the Moroccan occupier forces.”
Lefkir declared that he on the early hours of the attack, had passed out due to the teargas, and that he was carried by his family for 4 kilometres, and later walked the remaining 8 kilometres to his home in El Aiun. The main evidence proving the actions of Lefkir is the police records which contains confessions that Lefkir declared is falsified and signed under torture and threats. When the judge asked Lefkir why he had signed the declarations in front of the investigative judge, Lefkir declared that the guards, with the judge present, stated that: “If you don’t sign, I will send you back, and you will be tortured more and worse than what you have already endured.” He explained how he had denied all the charges to the judge, and explained him that he was arrested because of his activism. Lefkir declared that the judge “asked if I could forgive him. He said that this is beyond me; I am only following orders.” Lefkir was condemned by the Court of Appeal on the basis of these police records, and in blatant absence of criminal evidence.
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.