Sahrawi Association of Victims of Grave Human Rights Violations Committed by the Moroccan State

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Sahrawi Association of Victims of Grave Violations of Human Rights Committed by the Moroccan State
Founded May 7, 2005, El Aaiun, Western Sahara
Type Non-profit
  • El Aaiun, Western Sahara
Key people
Brahim Dahane, President; Elghalia Djimi, Vice President
Website (Arabic), (English), (Spanish), (French)

Asociación Saharaui de Víctimas de Violaciones Graves de los Derechos Humanos Cometidas por el Estado Marroquí (Spanish for the Sahrawi Association of Victims of Grave Violations of Human Rights Committed by the Moroccan State; Arabic,جمعية الصحراوية لضحايا الانتهاكات الجسيمة لحقوق الإنسان المرتكبة من طرف الدولة المغربية; French, Association Sahraouie des Victimes des Violations Graves des Droits Humains Commises par l’Etat Marocain), or ASVDH, is a Sahrawi human rights organization operating in the Moroccan-occupied parts of Western Sahara (by Morocco considered the kingdom's "Southern Provinces").


ASVDH objectives are:[1]

  • To respect and defend human rights
  • To work to uncover the truth about the circumstances of grave human rights violations
  • To find the unaccounted for victims of forced « disappearance » by Morocco
  • To return the remains of the Sahrawi martyrs who died in secret Moroccan prisons to their families
  • To press for the release of Sahrawi political prisoners and the right to reparations through material and moral compensation and physical rehabilitation for the victims and relatives in accordance with International Human Rights Law and International Jurisprudence
  • To end impunity and push for the prosecution of violations of crimes against humanity related to the Moroccan occupation in Western Sahara
  • To protect the community against arbitrary abduction, forced « disappearance », torture, murder and other forms of degradation and attacks on human dignity
  • To establish a culture of peaceful respect for human rights in Western Sahara based on the principles of the International Human Rights Covenants


ASVDH was founded in El Aaiun on May 7, 2005, by Sahrawi activists, including its President, Brahim Dahane, a former prisoner of conscience. Although the association had completed all the procedures under the Moroccan Law of Public Associations, it has been refused permission to operate by the Moroccan authorities, and is thus forced to operate illegally, with very limited means at its disposal.[1] Its activities has consisted in documenting abuses by interviewing alleged victims of persecution, and releasing documentation and photographs of demonstrations, police interventions and torture scars on the Internet.

ASVDH has been outspoken in its defence of jailed Sahrawi human rights defenders and independence activists, such as Aminatou Haidar and Ali Salem Tamek, during the presently ongoing anti-occupation protests that broke out in El Aaiun in May 2005, which ASVDH refers to as Western Sahara's "Independence Intifada".

This has resulted in harassment and police action against its members. Dahane was detained on October 30, 2005, and later charged with "belonging to an illegal organization", namely ASVDH. This was condemned by Amnesty International and other international human rights organizations, who campaigned for Dahane's release.[1] As part of a general royal pardon, Dahane and other members of ASVDH were set free on April 22, 2006.[2]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

تقرير أحداث اقتحام وتفكيك مخيم النازحين الصحراويين بأكديم ازيك مخيم أكديم ازيك أسباب النشأة وتداعيات التفكيك (PDF). ASVDH, 4 January 2011 (Arabic)


  1. ^ a b About ASVDH ASVDH, 12 May 2005