Brahim Ismaili was born and raised in 1970 in El Aaiun.
Brahim is the president of Center for Preservation of the collective Saharawi memory.
Brahim was arrested on 9 November 2010 in his house in the Zemla neighbourhood, in the presence of his wife Alfan and two of their four children. He was taken to the notorious black prison in El Aaiun. After 7 months, on 13 May 2011, Brahim was released together with other Saharawis. But just outside of the prison's gates, the police arrested him again and drove him to Salé prison, 1,200 kilometers up north in Morocco proper.
It is not the first time that Brahim Ismaili is in jail for his political views. In 1987 he was abducted and kept in a secret detention center for months.
On 19 July 2017 Brahim was sentenced to life in prison, and found guilty of both participation to murder and murdering of public officials in their line of duty, with the intent to kill. Brahim declared that the police records, that serves at the sole piece of evidence against him, is falsified and signed under torture. Brahim declared that during all the interrogations, he was asked about his activism for self-determination and his trip to Algeria, and he urged that he was never asked any questions about the Gdeim Izik. He explained how he went to Algeria, in august 2010, with a delegation to attend an international conference about the right to self-determination, where Western Sahara served as model. Brahim further explained that he wasn’t in the camp during the attack, and that he had only visited the camp in his capacity as a human rights activist.
When he was asked about the alleged security committee inside the camp, Brahimi stated that “I have never seen any committees. The Gdeim Izik camp was surrounded by the military. It had only one entrance. We had to go through seven checkpoint to reach the camps, and show our identity. I have no information”.
Morocco occupies the major part of its neighbouring country, Western Sahara. Entering into business deals with Moroccan companies or authorities in the occupied territories gives an impression of political legitimacy to the occupation. It also gives job opportunities to Moroccan settlers and income to the Moroccan government. Western Sahara Resource Watch demands foreign companies leave Western Sahara until a solution to the conflict is found.
It's not easy keeping up with all the different legal proceedings relating to Western Sahara. For the sake of clarity, here's an overview of the five different cases at the Court of Justice of the European Union.
Leading activists from Western Sahara are condemned to sentences ranging from 20 years to life imprisonment in connection to a mass protest in 2010 denouncing the Saharawi people’s social and economic marginalization in their occupied land; the Gdeim Izik protest camp.
At COP22, beware of what you read about Morocco’s renewable energy efforts. An increasing part of the projects take place in the occupied territory of Western Sahara and is used for mineral plunder, new WSRW report documents.