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24 November 2017 07:45 (South Africa)

Western Saharan hunger striker in hospital

Aminatou Haidar

Aminatou Haidar, the Western Saharan independence activist, has been taken to a hospital on Spain’s Canary Islands after being on a hunger strike at Lanzarote Airport for a month. Moroccan authorities took her passport and denied her re-entry to Western Sahara after she returned from a trip to the US, where she received a human rights award, forcing her back to Lanzarote. The sovereignty of Western Sahara has been in dispute for 34 years. Haidar supports self-determination for the region, and has refused an offer of Spanish asylum and citizenship, despite suffering severe stomach pains and refusing to be force-fed. UN boss Ban Ki-moon waded into the dispute the other day, calling for renewed negotiations over the region and saying Haidar’s life was of paramount importance. Read more: BBC, Reuters

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