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Vigil for Oxford Six - 6pm, 13th August

Free Western Sahara Network | 07.08.2009 07:57

There will be a vigil for the six Saharawi students who have been beaten and arrested in Morocco for protesting the authorities refusal to let them attend a peace and reconcilliation workshop in Oxford this week. Meet outside the Moroccan Embassy, 97 Praed Street, London. 6pm, next Thursday

On the evening of 5th August six Saharawi students enroute to a workshop in Oxford were prevented from boarding their plane and were marched across the runway back to the airport terminal by Moroccan police. They were due to take part in a two week residential initiative sponsored by the EU and the British Council.

The students, aged between 17 and 24, are from different parts of occupied Western Sahara and were supposed to be travelling together with seven students from Morocco. They had tickets and visas and there had been no indication from the Moroccan authorities that they would be prevented from travelling. But before they could board the plane at Agadir airport the Saharawi students were informed that they would not be permitted to travel and were marched back to the terminal building.

The Oxford Six were given no reason for being detained and staged a hunger-strike protest in the airport terminal. Early on Thursday evening a large group of police arrived, beat the students with batons and drove them away in a convoy of vehicles. The convoy was last seen entering Gulmime, a city about 200 km south of Agadir and fears for their safety are growing.

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