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Danish journalist deported from Morocco after covering EU fisheries
On Thursday 25th November, Danish Radio broadcasted a documentary on EU’s illegal fisheries in occupied Western Sahara. Two days later, the journalist behind the programme was expelled from Morocco.

Read also: Here is the EU fish story that the Moroccan government didn't like
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Mads Ellesøe is an award winning Danish journalist, who has made one story on Western Sahara in his carreer. The story was published 2 days before his arrival to Morocco, and treated the issue of EU fisheries in Western Sahara.

Story below was published on the website of the Danish newspaper The Journalist, the magazine of the Danish Trade Union for Journalists.

Unofficial translation by WSRW.
29 November 2010

Danish journalist detained in Morocco

The free lance journalist was detained in Morocco, where the authorities confiscated hard disks, passports and mobile phones. He is now safe in paris.

Moroccan authorities this week-end detained the Danish journalist Mads Ellesøe. This happens only 2 days after [Danish Broadcasting Corporation] DR aired a documentary about Morocco’s occupation of Western Sahara, and the billion kroners that the European fishermen are paying the Moroccan regime to fish in the occupied territories.
This is told by a press release from the Danish Broadcasting Corporation today.

The detention of the journalist behind the documentary happened Saturday night, when men in plain clothes woke Mads Ellesøk and his girlfriend at their hotel room in Marrakech. The couple had arrived the Moroccan city Saturday noon.

The six men did not want to show identification, but said they had followed Mads Ellesøes movements already before he arrived Morocco.

“We were called in for interrogation, and we were forced to sign a document that we constituted a danger to public order. It was only out on the airport that we discovered that the hard disk was gone”, said Mads Ellesøe to

He is now in Paris with his girlfriend. He does not mean that the hard disk contains information that can harm him nor his sources. He has himself a backup at home. But the girlfriend doesn’t.

All her documents are gone.

Furthermore, Mads Ellesøe and his girlfriend got their passports and SIM card confiscated.

During the interrogations, the men in plain clothes furthermore told Mads Ellesøke that they were aware that he had been in the neighbouring country of Algeria, and that he had sources there on whom they wanted the names.

The recordings of the free lance journalist last week at P1 Documentary, tok place exactly on the border of Algeria and Western Sahara. The Moroccan police also wanted information on Mads Ellesøe’s sources and local contacts in Marrakech, just as they wanted to know what kind of stories he wanted to work on.

“These are not questions one asks a journalist. All points to the fact that the detention of Mads Ellesøe takes place as a result of his critical journalist about the controversial European deals with Moroccan authorities about the fishing rights in the occupied territories. Therefore, this is not merely a case about a Danish tourist, but about press freedom. I expect that the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs take this case very seriously”, stated editor of P1 Documentary, Tanja Nyrup Madsen, in a press release.



The EU considers to pay Morocco to fish in occupied Western Sahara. An EU-Morocco Fisheries Agreement from 2013 would be both politically controversial and in violation of international law. The international Fish Elsewhere! campaign demands the EU to avoid such unethical operations, and go fishing somewhere else. No fishing in Western Sahara should take place until the conflict is solved.
عريضة لوقف النهب


يحضر الاتحاد الاوربي لإبرام اتفاق غير اخلاقي جديد للصيد البحري مع المغرب في سنة 2013.

مرة اخرى، يعتزم الاتحاد الاوربي الصيد في المياه الاقليمية للصحراء الغربية المحتلة في خرق سافر للقانون الدولي. وقع هذه العريضة للتنديد بذلك.

"EU fisheries in Western Sahara must be stopped"

Western Sahara human rights activist Aminatou Haidar hopes for increased attention to the EU plundering of occupied Western Sahara.


10.04 - 2012
Guardian: EU taking its over-fishing habits to west African waters?
15.12 - 2011
EU Observer: Morocco expels EU fishing boats
15.12 - 2011
BBC News: Morocco's fish fight: High stakes over Western Sahara
15.12 - 2011
European Voice: MEPs reject EU-Morocco fisheries pact
15.12 - 2011
Reuters: EU lawmakers reject Morocco fisheries pact

Human rights activist Malak Amidane denounces EU fisheries