Spain rejects forced hospitalisation for hunger striker

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A court in Spain’s Canary Islands says there is no need to force Aminatou Haidar to undergo medical treatment against her will.

Lanzarote – A court in Spain's Canary Islands ruled Monday that a Western Sahara activist on a three-week-old hunger strike at an airport on the archipelago did not require being forcibly hospitalised.

Judge Jeronimo Alonso of the Superior Court of Justice of the Canaries has concluded "that there is no need for the forced hospitalisation of Aminatou Haidar so that her health status can be evaluated or to undergo medical treatment against her will," the court said in a statement.

The activist began consuming only sugared water on 16 November in the airport in Lanzarote to demand that Morocco allow her to return home to the Western Sahara, a disputed territory annexed by Morocco in 1975 following the withdrawal of colonial power Spain.

Haidar, a 42-year-old mother-of-two who campaigns for the Western Sahara's independence from Morocco, is camped in a small room at the airport with her aides.

The regional government officials mandated the judge on Sunday night to "take all necessary measures to guarantee her life and her integrity."

Haider's aides say the activist is suffering from dizziness and loss of vision.

A doctor attending to her, Domingo de Guzman Perez Hernandez, told the El Pais newspaper over the weekend that her life is now threatened.

"Her time is coming to an end. We're not talking in terms of weeks but in hours or days," he said.

Haidar told AFP Monday she plans to continue with the hunger strike "until there is a solution. If I die, the Spanish government will have to take the legal and moral consequences".

She added that in the event that she loses consciousness or is hospitalised against her will, she had left a signed document with one of her aides stating that she does not wish to receive food.

Spain had offered to give her refugee status or Spanish citizenship so she could be allowed to return home but she rejected both options on the grounds that she did not want to become "a foreigner in her own home".

Morocco has pledged to grant the phosphate-rich territory widespread autonomy, but rules out independence.

AFP / Expatica

1 Comment To This Article

  • Adam posted:

    on 12th December 2009, 20:21:09 - Reply

    Please be our guest all the Moroccans don't want you back home you're traiter. You're a joke who cares if you're on hunger strike.