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UN concerned about judicial harassment of 3 human rights defenders in Algeria 

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News briefing  

Translated and edited by: Committee for Justice  

Geneva August 18 2021    

UN human rights experts have expressed their concern over the judicial harassment of three human rights defenders in Algeria.  

In a memorandum sent to the Algerian government on June 17, 2021, which has not been responded to yet, the experts addressed the violations committed against:   

– Jamila Loukil, a human rights defender, journalist and member of the Algerian League for the Defense of Human Rights.     

– Said Boudour, a human rights defender and a member of LADDH. He works for the rights of immigrants and prisoners of conscience.  

– Kaddour Chouicha, a human rights defender, university professor and Vice-President of LADDH. He is the head of this organization in Oran  

The experts explained in their memo that Boudour was arrested on April 23, 2021, and was verbally and physically assaulted by police officers and that he remained in detention until April 29, 2021, and he was not provided with legal assistance until five days after his arrest.   

On April 28, 2021, Loukil and Chouicha, were arrested without a warrant as they were leaving the Oran Appeal Court during a hearing regarding the proceedings against them after their alleged participation in a rally commemorating the victim of femicide in October 2020 and were released. They were released at 10 pm on the same day, and the security forces searched their homes with a search warrant, confiscating their computers as well as other personal belongings. All of them were charged with belonging to a terrorist organization and undermining the integrity of the national territory.  

The experts expressed their grave concern over the accusations of terrorist activities against them, which appear to be directly related to their peaceful human rights activism in Algeria, in particular their exercise of their rights to peaceful assembly and expression.  

The experts called on the Algerian government to provide them with specific information on the legal bases for the arrest and detention of defenders and to explain how these bases comply with international human rights norms and standards, the factual and legal bases for the charges brought against them, and to provide details of their access to legal aid.  

The experts also requested Algeria to provide information on the reasons for bringing charges relating to terrorist acts and belonging to a terrorist organization against human rights defenders and the legal guarantees granted to them, upon arrest, during interrogation and criminal trial. 

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