Algeria Must Support Efforts to End Arbitrary Detention of Mr Ould Sidi Mouloud in Western Sahara

Chairwoman Hautala and the President of European Parliament, Mr Jerzy Buzek, deeply concerned about the situation of detained Mr. Mustapha Ould Sidi Mouloud Salma, call Algeria to support efforts that he be either charged or released.[:]




Please see unofficial English translation of the letter, sent on 23rd of November 2010, below.



H. E. Mr Amar Bendjama
Ambassador of the Republic of Algeria
Avenue Molière 207-209
1050 Brussels



I am writing on behalf of the President of the European Parliament, Mr. Jerzy Buzek. We wish to express our deep concern about the information we have received on the situation of Mr. Mustapha Ould Sidi Mouloud Salma.

Sidi Ould Mouloud, a policeman in the Tindouf refugee camp, has been detained since 21 September 2010 by the Polisario Front, on charges of “treason and espionage.” He was arrested on his return from Algeria, after expressing his support to Morocco’s proposal to resolve the Western Sahara conflict. It should be noted that he had no political position in the camps and that his detention was based solely on the expression of his opinions.

According to reports from non-governmental organizations, Mr Sidi Mouloud Ould was placed in a remote outpost of Western Sahara which neither his family nor his lawyer have access.

On 6 October, the Polisario Front expressed its committed to release Mr. Ould Sidi Mouloud and its readiness to cooperate with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees for his transfer to another country. However, according to my information, Mr. Ould Sidi Mouloud is still currently in detention and without access to legal counsel. His case was also not brought before a court and his family still has no information on either the place of his detention or his health.

In a case of arbitrary detention and serious violations of freedom of expression, access to legal advice and a fair trial, I call on your support to resolve this serious situation. Taking into account that the Tindouf camps are in Algeria, and your country is part of the Geneva Convention of 1951 relating to the Status of Refugees, I urge your government to act in accordance with this instrument and to avoid the expulsion of Mr. Ould Sidi Mouloud without trial. Similarly, the rights established by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights must be respected by all those under the Algerian jurisdiction.

The European Parliament has already attracted the attention of the members of your government on this situation at the tenth Inter-Parliamentary meeting with the Algerian Parliament on 6 and 7 October.

I renew my request to your government so that it makes every effort to ask the Polisario Front concrete steps for the release of Mr. Ould Sidi Mouloud or ensure him a fair trial based on credible charges.

I count on your government to intervene on behalf of Mr. Ould Sidi Mouloud and ensure respect for human rights on its territory, thus contributing to the peaceful resolution of conflict with Western Sahara.


While awaiting the opportunity to discuss this matter with you, I assure you, Excellency, my highest consideration.

Heidi Hautala