Report of one of the many expulsions of occupied Sahara
She planned to teach Spanish and English to the Sahrawi women in El Ayoun, but was expelled by the Moroccan authorities. This is the account of Antzine Biain, feminist and internationalist, as she defines herself, written in Agadir on August 16, 2017, before leaving for Casablanca:
"I arrive at El Aaiun airport from Casablanca on Sunday, August 13 at 7:00 p.m. My intention is to spend a month there, in which in addition to interviewing Sahrawi activists, see their situation and be able to share that time with them, I will give a course in English and Spanish.
Be clear that if I say this at the airport they will not let me in, I say that I'm on vacation and I'm going for tourism. They start the questions about whether I have friends there, and if not, how I travel alone, where I am going to stay, what I am going to do etc., etc. After several interrogations by different people, they tell me to pick up my luggage and then return for my passport. I have booked 2 hotel nights and they write the address.
My suitcase does not appear, so I go back to the control to communicate it, one of the policemen then asks me if I'm going to be all month (my return flight is September 9) at that hotel, I say no, I'm going to move but I still do not know where. Then they seal my passport and let me go. I make the claim of the suitcase; tomorrow we will call the hotel, the airport workers tell me. Contenta and a little nervous I go for a taxi ...
I will not tell all the details of those almost two days that I spent before meeting with the Saharawi activist El Ghalia Djimi. Just to say that thinking about the amount of feelings, feelings, thoughts and other that one feels, you can not even imagine, even from a distance, what the Saharawi people feel in that land, occupied and reprised by Morocco ...
Just as anecdote, it impresses and almost scares the immense amount of Moroccan flags and photos of the monarch that is by all the city. A few years ago I travel through Morocco and I can assure you that it does not resemble at all what I saw in Laayoune in this respect.
I know they follow me constantly, I know because it is what they do with all foreigners, also because someone tells me that I do not want to name, not to compromise, but it is not a Saharawi person; "This is full of sneaks," he says, "surely now they are in your hotel looking at your suitcase." It will be the hand, I think, because the invoiced and have looked at the airport (when the day after arriving I will ask for it, oh lucky is already there, was in Istanbul but by magic has arrived in less of 14 hours ... excellent the service of claims of the Moroccan airports). I know also because although I do not know anything about this, sometimes it is so obvious that it is impressive to see how little they disguise and how much they know people totally alien to you ....
Finally, to the point: on Tuesday 15 at 11:30 am I leave the hotel with my two suitcases, I stop a taxi and tell her to drive to where I have stayed with Ghalia, she is waiting for me in front of the association ASVDH: Saharawi Association of Victims of Serious Human Rights Violations committed by the Moroccan State.
The taxi driver asks me twice if I want to get down there, it seems flipped. Low and the car that followed me there waited. We entered the association, there I know Abderrahman Zayou and Brahin Daihami. While having a coffee, we chat and organize English and Spanish courses, two hours in the morning and two in the afternoon. I start to get nervous, I did a great course to teach languages but the desire to learn from these people and their great interest cause me to wonder if I will measure up.
About 13:30 we go to the floor where I'm going to be housed, the gray car follows us, we leave the suitcases and when coming down Ghalia shows me some cameras in the house in front that they record to the portal. When riding in the car we see the gray car at the end of the street. We left, oh lucky, now we also follow a motorcycle. I am calm, at last I am with her and everything else does not matter, they have been 2 rare days, but in the end we are together. We arrive at his house, the motorcycle turns around, but the gray car stops and looks at us from a distance not prudential ...
It is about 14:30, I think (I emphasize the hours so that you can see how little time I was allowed to be with my friend and already Sister Ghalia). After a great meal with his family, I immediately go to review my notes, I am happy but a little nervous about the lessons, I want to do well and we started the next day. Now I remember something curious, I tell Daffa, the husband of Ghalia, that I am more concerned about the classes than the police; he responds: you should worry more about the police. We laugh.
About 18:30 some friends come to have tea and a little later the door rings, I do not even know, stuck in my notes; Ghalia tells me from the door of the room that it is the police and that you leave with my passport. I leave without even time to get nervous and I see 6 guys, all very serious and very bad looking, everything has to be said. The one who leads the singer goes to me in Spanish and asks me what I do there, because I'm in that house. etc. Ghalia tells her in Arabic what we have said before, that a friend of hers from San Sebastian knows me and wrote her saying that I was here, that we have contacted and as I "teach Spanish classes to Muslim women in the house of the woman of Mi Pueblo ", which is not true but could be, it occurred to us that I could do it here, teach Spanish to women
Accused of doing politics
He leads me to the door of the portal, without coming out, and asks; I respond more or less the same and he tells me that I have gone there to do politics and that is why I have to leave. I tell her that I did not do anything wrong and that I'm going to call the embassy, as if that would help me, but you already know when one gets nervous she comes to say some nonsense ... she takes me out of the portal and then I see several cars and a lot of guys, and the bike, with the bike included; I even keep the guy, or I think, I say I know my rights, what nonsense, talk about rights in occupied Sahara, I have a Spanish passport and, look at the data: European, and I'm not going ... he starts to impatient and tells me again: we go to the other house for your suitcases and you go by taxi to Agadir; Ghalia asks him to let me pick up my bag, he says no, another argument, he finally agrees, I pick up my purse, I go out and he must see something in my face because he says: you're not afraid, I tell him I do not understand, you are not afraid, and Ghalia makes it clear that you are not afraid, nothing happens. I give up, we go in a taxi, the singing voice, another cop and I, Ghalia goes in his car with his daughter. Once there, let me go up with them to get our bags, fast bounce and go down.
Again in the taxi, we go by another taxi to make the trip to Agadir, more questions, what is your friend's name in common, Arantxa I tell you, last name, I do not know, I know you from the house of the women of San Sebastián , I have told you before that I am a feminist and feminist women weave networks between us; Ah, it was not from the Canaries, she says, no, I say ... more questions and I a little nervous, I know that "they will not do anything" but I just want to get to the taxi stand and be surrounded by people, it bothers me and afraid to be alone with them.
Once there they go down but they do not let me do it, I stay in the taxi with the taxi driver, the singing voice returns and tells me if I have money to pay the taxi to Agadir and I feel like saying, if you kick me out you should pay me you trip, I shut up. After a while they tell me to get off and ride in another taxi, they put my suitcases on him and, he pulls, to Agadir, I ask for my passport and he gives it to me ...
About 8 in the afternoon, we left for Agadir. Two very salty old ladies, a guy from Marrakesh who speaks Spanish, the taxi driver and me. Oh, not to mention the police car that comes behind, all the way, although this time it's an official car.
We arrived in Agadir at 5:30 in the morning, the trip was tiring but pleasant by my companions, they are all super nice to me, we have stopped for dinner and we have done it together and with the other guy. Fatima, well both of them are called that, one of them has asked for something for the pain of the knee, I open my suitcase under the watchful eye of our official companions and I give him some Ibuprofenos ... soon my privileged seat of copilot that adjudged my official protectors to the other Fatima after dinner and departed again. Innumerable controls to leave El Aaiún, in the first we teach all the documentation, in the following that can be more than 10 only I, it is routine, the Spanish ask in each control, the passport ...
As I say we arrived at 5:30, I say goodbye to everyone in my taxi of course, the others not because they will continue with me all the time until I leave Morocco. This time the most peculiar is a guy with a visor of NY, very discreet, he follows me throughout the season and the taxi driver who takes me to find a hotel in the city of Agadir makes a sign as we pass in front of him.
I arrive dead at the hotel, do not accept a card and I do not have enough cash at that time, the receptionist with whom I spoke previously the taxi driver keeps my passport, the number of hands that has passed that identity booklet that actually it does not identify anything and I say this because it says that I am Spanish, but no, I am not, I am Basque.
I try to rest knowing that my brother has made arrangements for our friend from the travel agency to get me a flight to return. He, my brother, is also waiting to tell you when we can report my expulsion. I should have done it as soon as it happened, but I have no strength and above all I am not as brave as this great people and I prefer to wait to get to Madrid or at least to pass the check out of Morocco.
I write this from the hotel in Agadir where by the way this morning when going down and ask for a bank the type of the hotel very kindly and without any dissimulation has indicated to me and the three cops that were out the direction that should take; I write this as I say waiting for the time to go to the airport, not wanting to go out even to see the city. I am very tired, a little sad and with a lot of feelings and feelings difficult to explain, which I will already manage ...
In these three days I have not been able to do much, hotels, taxis and police ... But even if I have spent little time with my fellow activists, just 7 hours, it was worth it. I have been able to talk and share with them their experience of struggle and life, the two are united and I have created a link with this cause that although it existed for many, many years now is stronger if it fits.
What has happened to me and other activists before is nothing; is a solemn nonsense compared to the repression suffered by this people in their land. This people full of life, struggle, solidarity and dignity that will not stop fighting until they get their freedom and that will always have the support of all of us. "
Antzine Biain, councilor of EHBildu, ends his writing with "Hasta la victoria siempre. Long live SADR. Gora Sahara askatuta. SAHARA HURRIA ". He spent the night of Wednesday the 16th in Casablanca, and left for Madrid on Thursday, followed at all times by the Moroccan police in plain clothes.