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Algeria: Fear of torture / ill-treatment: Saghir Bouhadida, Djamleddine Fahassi

, Index number: MDE 28/006/1995

Saghir Bouhadida, a former journalist at the daily al-Khabar and currently an assistant lecturer, was arrested on 11 June 1995 in the Chevalier district of Algiers. He was arrested with two students, who were released after three days' incommunicado detention. His family and lawyer have not been able to obtain any information about his place of detention or the reason for his arrest. Djamaleddine Fahassi, a journalist for the Algerian radio Chaine III is reported to have been arrested on 6 May 1995. His family have been unable to obtain any information about him. He has been arrested previously on two occasions, once for writing an article criticizing the military. AI fear both men could be at risk of torture or ill-treatment in incommunicado detention.

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: MDE 28/06/95
Distr: UA/SC
UA 181/95 Fear of Torture/Ill-treatment 26 July 1995
ALGERIA Saghir BOUHADIDA , journalist and lecturer
Djamleddine FAHASSI, journalist
Saghir Bouhadida, a former journalist at the daily al-Khabar and currently
assistant lecturer at the Institute of Social Sciences and at the Institute
of Information and Communication in Algiers, was arrested by members of the
security forces on 11 June 1995 in the Chevalier district of Algiers. He was
arrested with two students at about 7 pm on his way home from the Institute
of Social Sciences in the Hydra district. The two students were released after
three days of incommunicado detention in an unknown location, where they were
reportedly held blindfolded. To date his family and lawyer have not been able
to obtain any information regarding his place of detention or reason for his
arrest.
Djamaleddine Fahassi, a journalist for the Algerian radio Chaîne III, is
reported to have been arrested by members of the security forces near his home
in the al-Harrache district of Algiers on 6 May 1995. Despite repeated
inquiries with the local authorities, his family has not been able to obtain
any information on his whereabouts. He had been previously arrested at the
beginning of 1992 and held in a military camp in Ain Salah in the desert in
the south of Algeria for six weeks, and was then released without charge or
trial. He was again arrested a few months later and sentenced to three months'
imprisonment by the Military Court for writing an article in al-Forkane
newspaper, an Islamist newspaper which has since been banned, in which he had
criticized the Algerian military.
Amnesty International believes both men could be at risk of torture and
ill-treatment.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
The practice by the Algerian security forces of detaining those arrested in
illegally prolonged incommunicado detention is widespread. Detainees are
often tortured and ill-treated while held incommunicado in Police, Gendarmerie
and Military Security centres, and their families are never informed of their
relative's place of detention while they are held in incommunicado detention,
which is often illegally prolonged for weeks and even months. It is during
this period, when detainees are held completely cut off from the outside world
without access to their families, lawyer and medical care, that detainees are
most at risk of torture, ill-treatment and "disappearance". When detainees
are finally brought before the courts, complaints of torture by detainees and
their lawyers are not investigated; to date no independent investigation has
been carried out into the numerous cases raised. In addition, scores of people
who were arrested as far back as 1993 have "disappeared" and remain unaccounted
for; others have been extrajudicially executed and later reported by official
sources to have been killed in armed clashes.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail
letters either in French/Arabic/English or in your own language:
- expressing your concern that Saghir Bouhadida and Djamleddine Fahassi are
being held in incommunicado detention without access to their families and
2
lawyers, and stressing that Article 9(3) of the International Covenant on Civil
and Political Rights, ICCPR, to which Algeria is a state party, states that:
"Anyone arrested or detained on a criminal charge shall be brought promptly
before a judge...";
- urging the Algerian authorities to clarify their whereabouts and legal status
to their family, and to allow them immediate access to their families and
lawyers, and to medical care if necessary;
- seeking assurances that they are being humanely treated, explaining that
Amnesty International has repeatedly raised its concerns with the Algerian
authorities about the widespread torture and ill-treatment of detainees held
incommunicado by members of the security forces.
APPEALS TO
1) President
M. Liamine ZEROUAL
Président de l'Etat
Présidence de la République
El Mouradia
Alger
Algérie
Telegrams: Président Zéroual, Alger, Algérie
Telexes: 66044/66088
Faxes: + 213 2 60 96 18/66044/66088
Salutation: Monsieur le Président/Dear President
3) Minister of Interior
M. Mostefa BENMANSOUR
Ministre de l'Intérieur
Ministère de l'Intérieur
18 rue Docteur Saâdane
Alger
Algérie
Telegrams: Ministre Chérif, Alger, Algérie
Telexes: 66341
Faxes: + 213 2 736106
Salutation: Monsieur le Ministre/Dear Minister
2) Minister of Justice
M. Mohamed ADAMI
Ministre de la Justice
Ministère de la Justice
8 Place Bir Hakem
El-Biar
Alger
Algérie
Telegrams: Ministre Adami, Alger, Algérie
Telexes: 61498
Faxes: + 213 2 796557
Salutation: Monsieur le Ministre/Dear Minister
PLEASE ALSO SEND COPIES OF YOUR APPEALS to the following Human Rights
Organizations:
Observatoire national des droits de l'homme
Palais du Peuple
3
Avenue F. Roosevelt
Alger, Algérie
Faxes: + 213 2 601042
Ligue algérienne des droits de l'homme
40-42 Rue M'Hidi Larbi
Place Emir Abdelkader
Alger, Algérie
and to diplomatic representatives of Algeria accredited to your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 6 September 1995.

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