Stories of Tindouf's victims

El Fadel’s story

The second testimony that we are lucky to hear and share with you comes from
El Fadel. He experienced the violence of the Polisario on his skin because he
was persecuted and tortured by its militants, as he is considered an opponent.

Here we have El Fadel’s statement to the Cenacolo:

My name is El Fadel and I have been an activist and human
rights defender since 1968. Nowadays, I try to spread awareness about what is
happening in the “refugee” camps in Tindouf.
I was born in Bir Anzarane, present-day Dakhla. When I was very young, just
16 years old, I joined the Polisario militia. I remained enlisted until the 2000s. I
arrived at a certain point in my life exhausted by the war just as I was exhausted
by life in the desert camps. All those years with the Polisario made me realise
that it was a regime without rights and like many Saharawis, I made the decision
to go to Spain to find a better life.
Years after I left, I made the choice to return to the camp to participate in
demonstrations against the regime that had made people disappear, including a
cousin of mine. From then on I was considered the enemy par excellence
because the right to dissent did not exist.
In 2019, I returned once again to the camp to visit my mother, who was in
Rabuni’s hospital at the time. The Polisario soldiers took me on 18 June and
tortured me, tying my hands and feet for 10 days. I also had a blindfold on all
that time. After these 10 days I was transferred to the prison where I remained
until 10 November 2019.
For a long time, I was left without food and in inhuman conditions. I denounced
what happened in 2020 and the request was granted in March 2021.

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