Document - Algeria: Activists targeted in Algeria
UA: 364/12 Index: MDE 28/002/2012 Algeria Date: 19 December 2012
URGENT ACTION ACTIVISTS TARGETED IN ALGERIA Security forces surrounded the office of a civil society organization in Algeria on 19 December. At least five activists were arrested and at least two are still being detained. There are fears that other activists are at risk of being arbitrarily arrested. On 19 December, the organization SOS Disparus, set up by relatives of victims of enforced disappearances in Algeria, was planning a gathering in the centre of Algiers, the capital of Algeria. This was to coincide with the visit of the French President to Algeria, in order to bring attention to their struggle for truth and justice. As members of the NGO and other human rights activists gathered at the organization’s office at around midday, mainly plain-clothed security officers prevented them from getting in, while also preventing people already inside from getting out. They also used force to confiscate photos of forcibly disappeared family members that their relatives were holding.
The security forces also arrested several activists, including Abdiaziz Mardine and Tariq Manri, two activists in the National Committee for the Defence of the Rights of the Unemployed (Comité pour la défense des droits des chômeurs, CNDDC), who are believed to be held at the local police station. There are fears that further arbitrary arrests of human rights activists may occur.
Please write immediately in French or your own language: Calling on the Algerian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release all activists arrested near the SOS Disparus office in Algiers on 19 December, as they were arbitrarily arrested; Urging the authorities to ensure that the security forces do not prevent or disperse peaceful demonstrations, and to respect the rights to freedom of assembly and expression; Calling on the authorities to stop harassing relatives of people forcibly disappeared and other activists and to ensure the right to truth and justice for all victims of crimes.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 30 JANUARY 2013 TO: President His Excellency Abdelaziz Bouteflika Présidence de la République El Mouradia, Alger Algeria Fax: +213 21 609618 (keep trying) Email: email@example.com Salutation: Your Excellency/Excellence
Minister of Justice His Excellency Mohamed Charfi Ministry of Justice 8 Place Bir Hakem 16030 El Biar, Alger Algeria Fax: +213 21 921701(keep trying) Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Salutation: Your Excellency/ Excellence
And copies to: Minister of Foreign Affairs His Excellency Mourad Medelci Ministry of Foreign Affairs Place mouhamed Seddik ben Yahia El Mouradia, Alger, Algeria Fax: +213 21 50 4141/4242 (keep trying) Salutation: Your Excellency/ Excellence
Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.
Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.
URGENT ACTION ACTIVISTS TARGETED IN ALGERIA
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION Massive human rights abuses were committed by armed groups and the Algerian security forces during the internal conflict of the 1990s. Human rights violations committed by the Algerian security forces include secret detention, torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment and the enforced disappearances of thousands of persons. Impunity for such crimes continues today. The Charter for Peace and National Reconciliation (Law 06-01), in force since 2006, gives immunity to the security forces and criminalizes public criticism of their conduct. Families of those forcibly disappeared are required to accept death certificates in order to receive compensation but are denied information about the fate of their missing relatives.
Relatives of those forcibly disappeared continue to demand truth and justice, despite regular harassment by the security forces, who prevent peaceful gatherings and demonstrations by blocking access and making arrests or disperse them by force. Despite the lifting of the state of emergency in 2011, the authorities continue to prohibit demonstrations in Algiers under a 2001 decree. In addition, human rights activists face arbitrary arrests and judicial harassment for participating in demonstrations and exercising their right to freedom of expression.
Name: Abdiaziz Mardine (m), Tariq Manri (m), other activists Gender: Both
UA: 364/12 Index: MDE 28/002/2012 Issue Date: 19 December 2012