Sitting in a large sitting room on the third floor of my host mother’s house, seven female activists gathered around in a circle. The women passed around a bowl of dates, served each other milk, and waited for the tea to be prepared. My host mother, a member of the Committee for the Defense of the Right of Self-Determination of the Western Saharan People, had been imprisoned for nine years in three separate prisons located in Morocco and the Occupied Territories of the Western Sahara. The women she brought together in this room had been imprisoned with her for varying periods of time. “We were all in Kela’at Megouna [a prison located in the Western Sahara] most of us from 1980 to 1991. After the ceasefire we were released. We were beaten, tortured, and our families thought we were dead…for years,” she said.
Read the article in full: