In July 2023, Filleh mint Chahid mint Laaroussi, a 18-year-old Sahrawi girl who had been adopted by a Spanish family at the age of 5, participated in the “Vacations in Peace” program. This program allows young Sahrawis living in Spain to visit members of their biological family in the Tindouf camps.
However, Filleh’s visit to the Tindouf camps took a dramatic turn. Her biological parents, on the orders of the Polisario, destroyed her travel documents, preventing her from returning to her adoptive family in Spain.
Filleh was thus held against her will in the Tindouf camps. Her Spanish adoptive family, who was very worried about her, tried to help her escape.
Thanks to the complicity of a local Sahrawi, Filleh managed to escape from the Tindouf camps and reach the Spanish Consulate in Oran. She is now waiting to be repatriated to Spain.
As soon as they learned of Filleh’s disappearance, her relatives triggered a wave of protest and a media campaign. This campaign quickly caught the attention of the Algerian security forces, who have taken up the case.
The Algerian security services are currently working to get Filleh to return to the Tindouf camps to her biological family. However, Filleh refuses to return, and the Algerian security services are facing pressure from Filleh’s relatives.
The case of Filleh mint Chahid mint Laaroussi is not an isolated case. In recent years, there have been several cases of young Sahrawi girls adopted by Spanish families who have been kidnapped or held captive by the Polisario after visiting their biological families in the Tindouf camps.
These cases are a serious violation of the fundamental rights of young women. They are also a reminder of the human rights abuses that are taking place in the Tindouf camps.