Sahrawi woman activist Sultana Khaya, and several members of her family, have been held under a de facto house arrest in their home in Boujdour, Western Sahara.
Update: Sultana Khaya and her family have been held under de facto house arrest for over six months in their home in Boujdour, Western Sahara. The authorities have yet to present any charges against her. On 12 May, dozens of masked members of the security forces raided her house. They assaulted her, attempted to rape her, and raped her sister. The authorities must immediately ensure that Sultana Khaya and her family are protected from further assaults, lift the house arrest, and open an urgent investigation into the incidents of rape and assault.
The authorities have yet to present any charges against Sultana Khaya. Security service agents are regularly stationed in front of their home, preventing the family from leaving the house and people, including relatives, from visiting them.
On numerous occasions, the police have physically attacked Sultana Khaya and her family when they have tried to leave their home, leaving Sultana Khaya and her sister with serious injuries.
This unlawful detention is part of a wider crackdown by the Moroccan authorities on Sahrawi activists and critical voices within Western Sahara, which escalated following clashes between Morocco and the Polisario Front in November 2020. Sultana Khaya is known for her vocal peaceful activism in favour of Sahrawi self-determination.
The authorities must immediately lift the arbitrary house arrest of Sultana Khaya and her family.