Sahrawi human-rights NGO ASADEDH calls for arrest of Polisario Front leader Brahim Ghali. 

In what can only be described as a political farce, the leader of the Marxist-Leninist terrorist group The Polisario Front, Brahim Ghali, was this week urgently admitted on the evening of April 21st, reportedly under the assumed name of Mohamed Ben Battouche, to a hospital in Logroño, not far from Zaragoza, Spain. North African news outlets suggest that he was admitted after he tested positive for COVID-19.

The Spanish-based Sahrawi Association for the Defence of Human Rights (ASADEDH) has asked the Spanish judicial authorities to confirm the identity of Brahim Ghali, to inform him of the crimes for which he is accused, and to have him arrested so that he will be unable to escape Spanish justice.

The ailing 73 year old revolutionary has also reportedly been suffering from cancer of the digestive system for several years, according to African media.

Germany had previously refused to take the terrorist leader, prior to him being transferred to Spain aboard a medical plane chartered by the Algerian presidency, accompanied by an Algerian medical team.

“For reasons of discretion and because he is the subject of several complaints filed with the Spanish courts by former members of the Polisario for human rights violations, Brahim Ghali was hospitalised under the name of ‘Mohamed Ben Battouche,’ of Algerian nationality,” Juene Afrique reported.

When questioned by AFP, sources in the Spanish foreign ministry simply replied that "Mr. Ghali was transferred to Spain for strictly humanitarian reasons in order to receive medical treatment", somewhat interestingly without any further clarification.

According to Jeune Afrique, "a team of Algerian doctors accompanied the Saharawi leader to Zaragoza aboard a medical plane chartered by the Algerian presidency".

Polisario Front, in its early days was funded by the Soviet Union, which had a policy of backing not only Polisario, but also anti-democratic Communist parties and revolutionary movements, such as the Red Army Faction, the Irish Republican Army, and the Bader-Meinhof gang.

In July 2011, senior British MEP Dr. Charles Tannock openly condemned Brahim Ghali, and the Polisario Front itself, during a debate about the persecution of Moroccan political activist Moustapha Salma Ould Sidi Mouloud, by the Polisario.

As reported by Paris-based Sahel Intelligence, Brahim Ghali has also faced serious accusations of terrorism, torture, sexual assault, and rape,as well as anti-Semitism.


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Polisario has relatively recently been accused in the European Parliament of recruiting child-soldiers.

This particular practice was abhorred by leading human rights campaigners, the Paris-based International Alliance for the Defence of Rights and Freedoms (AIDL), which described the behaviour of Polisario as “an international crime which requires international legal action”.

AIDL has also suggested that the Algerian-backed separatist group is still actively recruiting children for military service in its Tindouf camps in western Algeria.

This would appear to be borne out by an August 2020 report by Sahara News stating that "at least 80 Sahrawi children were squeezed by Polisario leaders into military trucks and transported, in intense heat, to a minefield, in defiance of all security conditions and in violation of international conventions for the protection of children.

"For a whole day, the children were confronted with all kinds of dangers, moving between mines, cluster bombs and dangerous weapons, in addition to being in direct contact with soldiers, a scene that contradicts all the meanings of childhood and innocence."

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Gary Cartwright

Gary Cartwright

Gary Cartwright is publishing editor and Brussels correspondent of EU Today.

An experienced journalist and author, he specialises in environment, energy, and defence.

He also has more than 10 years experience of working as a staff member in the EU institutions, working with political groups and MEPs in various policy areas.

In October 2021 POLITICO described Gary as "the busiest man in Brussels!"

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