Sahrawi Activists Health Deteriorating in PolisarioManaged Prison

Rabat – The families of the three opposition activists jailed in Edhibia prison have warned that the condition of their relatives is deteriorating. The three activists have been on a hunger strike for two weeks to condemn their arbitrary detention.Members of the Polisario Front arrested the activists in June when they were participating in protests against human rights violations in the Tindouf camps.Pro-Polisario news outlet Futuro Sahara reported that Moulay Aba Bouzid and Mahmoud Zidan’s health is deteriorating due to their continuous hunger strike for “the arbitrary detention and the delays in bringing them to trial.” Moulay Aba, according to the source, is suffering from pain in his left side.Read Also: Second Sahrawi Activist Joins Hunger, Water Strike to Protest Polisario’s ViolationsThe prison doctor warned  Mahmoud Zidan that the hunger strike may result in kidney failure. The families of the detainees said that the Polisario Front should bear all the responsibility for the detainee’s health conditions.In July, the activists condemned the serious violations committed by members of the Polisario Front.One of the activists told his family that he spent 36 hours in a secret prison before he was transferred to a prison in Rabouni.Polisario also used a blindfold while they were interrogating the three activists.“We were then transferred to the Edhabia prison,” he said. The activist described the conditions of detention in the Edhabia prison as “miserable.”On July 16, Human Rights Watch (HRW) condemned  Polisario’s use of arbitrary arrests and torture.HRW also called for the immediate release of the three activists. read more

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Facebook and Instagram could be hit by new laws if they do

Earlier this month the head of the NHS said “fake news” by anti-vaxers on social media had fuelled a tripling in measles cases and was risking lives.Simon Stevens said the promotion of misguided messages on Instagram and YouTube was one of the factors behind an alarming dip in vaccine coverage.Official figures show 913 cases of measles in England between January and October last year – compared with 259 in the whole of the previous year.Mr Stevens said parents who failed to get their children vaccinated were as irresponsible as if they failed to teach their children to look left and right before crossing the road. Mr Hancock later told the BBC’s Today programme: “We are looking at legislating for the duty of care that social media companies in particular have towards the people on their sites – this is an important part of that duty of care alongside all the other things that social media companies need to do, like tackling material that promotes suicide and self-harm and, of course, terrorism.” The chief executive of NHS England said parents were being given false information.“We are not being helped on this front by the fact that although nine in ten parents say they support vaccination half of them say that they have seen fake messages around vaccination on social media,” he said.Mr Stevens warned that uptake of the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine is now at 87.5 percent against the 95 per cent that the World Health Organisation target, despite “unimpeachable” evidence that it saves lives.In a statement Facebook, which owns Instagram, said: “We are working to tackle vaccine misinformation…by reducing its distribution and providing people with authoritative information on the topic.” Earlier this week, crowdfunding platform GoFundMe announced it would ban anti-vaxxers from using its platform to raise money, in a bid to stop the spread of misinformation about vaccines online. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Social media firms could be hit with new laws to stop them allowing the spread of anti-vaxxers’ myths online, the Health Secretary has said.Matt Hancock said social networking sites must do more to police the spread of anti-vaccination propaganda.Speaking on BBC Breakfast, the cabinet minister suggested spreading lies about vaccines online could become illegal.Earlier this month Facebook said it would ban adverts with anti-vaccination content.And Instagram announced it would block anti-vaxxer hashtags like #vaccinesarepoison to try to stop the spread of the opinions.”This is exactly the sort of thing we should be spending our time on and talking about and, if necessary, legislating for,” Mr Hancock said.“As a country we can make decisions on these sorts of things. I want to see social media companies doing far, far more to take down this material which is so damaging.” read more

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