African Film Festival: Western Sahara cause in spotlight in Cologne, Germany

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Western Sahara issue has been in the spotlight at the 16th African Film Festival held in Cologne, Germany, with the participation of four Saharawi movies and the attendance of French activist Claude Mangin Asfari and representatives of Freiheit für Westsahara, an association for solidarity with Western Sahara people.

This is the first time since the creation of the African Film Festival that the struggle of the Saharawi people will be highlighted, reported Friday the Sahara Press Service (SPS).

In this aspect, the organizers broadcasted the film entitled “Tell them that I exist”, which retraces the struggle led by the Saharawi human rights activist Naama Asfari, arbitrarily sentenced by the Moroccan occupant to 30 years in prison, and his wife Claude Mangin Asfari who multiplies the actions to sensitize the international opinion on the situation of Western Sahara and obtain the release of her husband, added the same source.

Saharawi human rights activist Naama Asfari was sentenced by a Moroccan military court following his participation in the Gdeim Izik camp in November 2010.

For this 16th edition, four Saharawi short films are participating in the African Film Festival, alongside 75 new African films, dealing with various topics, such as intra-African migration, as well as the human rights situation in the occupied Western Sahara.

Claude Mangin Asfari is among the 25 guests of honor of the festival organized from 13 to 23 September 2018.

The aim of this film event is the promotion of African cinema in Germany and Europe.

Directors of documentary and animation films were invited to present their works to the association “Film initiativ Koln”.

For the Saharawi cause, Claude Mangin Asfari said: “The four Saharawi short films retrace the daily life in the Saharawi refugee camps, showing their hopes for independence and freedom”.

These documentaries also report on the Moroccan police crackdown against the civilian population and Sahrawi students in Agadir (southern Morocco) who have legitimately claimed their right to freedom and independence.

Claude Mangin Asfari had observed an indefinite hunger strike last April, protesting against the ban on prison visits.

 APS

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