Aminatou Haidar born Akka, Western Sahara, Morocco July 24, 1966. “The Sahrawi Gandhi.” Abducted by Moroccan authorities while participating in nonviolent demonstration for Saharan independence, 1987; held without trial, imprisoned, tortured and eventually released, 1991. Beaten and imprisoned, 2005-06. Earned international attention and support for 32-day hunger strike at Lanzarote Airport, 2009.
“Just imagine many children instead of drawing toys; they draw a policeman with a gun and a stick beating people and people behind bars. I am scared that they will become violent and incite violence. . . because practicing violence, one day will incite violence. . . It is our role as human rights defenders to call for peace.” (Sandblast Arts, Dec. 14, 2009; photo frontlinedefenders.org)