Group Demands Detainees With Disabilities Be Released
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
February 28, 2003
BRUSSELS, BELGIUM--A Moroccan disability organization has filed a formal complaint against the leader of an Algerian secessionist group for keeping hundreds of people with disabilities in detainee camps, the Arabic News reported Thursday.
The association, which was not named in the news report, claimed that Polisario leader Abdelaziz Al Marrakchi has been holding thousands of Moroccan prisoners of war, including 400 people with disabilities, for "very personal schemes".
Marrakchi continues to detain the Moroccan civilians in South Western Algeria, defying the principles of international conventions in spite of continuous calls on the part of international humanitarian organizations, the group said.
The complaint was lodged under a law that allows the Belgian justice to sue perpetrators of humanitarian crimes regardless of their nationality, or the location where the crimes took place.
Earlier this month the Polisario released one hundred prisoners, leaving an estimated 1,160 Moroccans detained. Some have been held for 25 years, the paper reported.