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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
06RABAT358 2006-02-28 16:55:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Rabat
Cable title:  

WESTERN SAHARA: SAHRAWI CLAIMS POLISARIO HOLDS AN

Tags:   ASEC MO PBTS PGOV PHUM 
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1. This cable is sensitive by unclassified. Please treat
accordingly.



2. (SBU) Poloff recently met with Dahi Akai, President of
the Association of Those Who Disappeared by the Polisario.
Akai presented a letter in Arabic for the Secretary
requesting assistance for an American allegedly held in a
Polisario prison with Akai as late as 1980. Post has no
information to substantiate Akai's claim of any American held
by the Polisario, including from recently released Moroccan
prisoners of war. Though we find the story odd, we forward
it nevertheless to the attention of the Department.



3. (SBU) Begin Embassy translation of the letter:

I feel unable to enumerate the number of crimes that the
Polisario committed against our own people. Madame
Secretary, an America citizen by the name of Joseph who

SIPDIS
worked on the staff of the former UN Secretary General Kurt
Waldheim's, is still missing. Mr. Joseph was one of my cell
mates at one of the Polisario prisons, Prison al-Rachid, and
he was subjected to torture and humiliation.

Madame Secretary, we send letters to all American delegations
that come to visit us in Laayoune and we sent a letter to the
US Embassy in Rabat on the same issue.

Madame Secretary, we have two requests. First, we ask you to
continue looking for Mr. Joseph and address an official
request to the Polisario leadership on the whereabouts of
this American citizen. Second, we ask you to ban Mohammed
Abdelaziz, the well known torturer and Secretary General of
the Polisario and who, under the pretext of political work,
committed humanitarian crimes and who is responsible for the
disappearance of more than 800 Sahrawis in Polisario prisons,
from visiting American territory or bring him before the
international court of justice in accordance with resolutions
of Amnesty International and in accordance with the
democratic values of your great country.

Best Regards,

Dahi Akai
President of the Association
Laayoune
February 7, 2006

End Embassy translation of the letter.



4. (SBU) According to Akai, Joseph was adjacent to him in
prison and told him he was an American. Akai also said that
he had talked to other American diplomats in the past and had
spoken to the Spanish concerning Joseph; however, he did not
mention having discussed this case with the UN or having any
contact with Americans looking for a missing person. Joseph
could not speak French or Arabic and only some Spanish. In
spite of this, the two men became friends and promised to
help each other. Akai described their communication system
as whispering through walls when guards were not nearby.
Physically, Joseph was a tall man and in his thirties
according to Akai. He also said that there were many
prisoners of different nationalities, including French and
Spanish, held at one time by the Polisario. In 1980, Akai
was released from prison and pledged to Joseph that he would
fight for his release. When asked if anyone else had known
Joseph in prison or seen him after 1980, Akai said he would
discuss Joseph with other former prisoners in Laayoune and
contact Poloff.


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Riley