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Algeria: "Disappearance" / fear for safety: Rachid Mesli

, Index number: MDE 28/008/1996

AI has learned that the above, a human rights lawyer, was abducted on 31 July 1996 from the Rouiba area on the outskirts of the capital Algiers. According to the information received, he was in his car with his son and brother-in-law, when he was stopped and abducted by four armed men in civilian clothes. It is not known whether Rachid Mesli was taken by members of the security forces or by an unknown armed group.

EXTERNAL AI Index: MDE 28/08/96
UA 193/96 "Disappearance" / Fear for safety 2 August 1996
ALGERIARachid MESLI, human rights lawyer
Amnesty International has learned that Rachid Mesli, a human rights lawyer,
was abducted on 31 July 1996 at around 7.30pm from the Rouiba area on the
outskirts of the capital Algiers. According to the information received, he
was in his car with his five-year-old son and his brother-in-law, when he was
stopped by four armed men in civilian clothes carrying walkie-talkies. The
men took him away after having asked his son and his brother-in-law to look
the other way. His family has contacted the local Police and Gendarmerie to
inquire after his whereabouts but have not been able to obtain any information.
It is not known whether Rachid Mesli was taken by members of the security forces
or by an unknown armed group. Amnesty International is concerned for his safety
and calls on the Algerian authorities to ensure that a thorough investigation
is carried out to establish his whereabouts.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
In the past four years in Algeria tens of thousands of people have been killed
by security forces and armed opposition groups which define themselves as
"Islamic groups". Tens of thousands have been arrested and hundreds have
"disappeared" after arrest. Members of the security forces carrying out
arrests do not in most cases wear uniforms or identify themselves as security
forces, and the relatives of those detained have no way of obtaining information
on their detained relatives until these are brought before the courts, often
weeks or even months after the arrest. In the cases where those arrested have
"disappeared" most of them remain unaccounted for, but some were later found
dead or reported to have been killed in circumstances which were never clarified.
Individuals who were abducted by armed groups such as the Groupe islamique
armé (Armed Islamic Group), GIA, have in most cases been found dead, but some
remain unaccounted for.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express/airmail
letters in French, Arabic, English or your own language:
- expressing concern at the abduction of Rachid Mesli and urging the authorities
to ensure that a thorough investigation is carried out to establish his
whereabouts.
APPEALS TO:
Minister of Interior
M Mustafa BENMANSOUR
Ministre de l'Intérieur
Ministère de l'Intérieur
18 rue Docteur Saâdane
Alger, Algérie
Fax: +213 2 736106
Telegrams: Ministre de l'Intérieur, Alger, Algérie
Salutation: Monsieur le Ministre / Your Excellency
Minister of Justice
M Mohamed ADAMI
Ministre de la Justice
2
Ministère de la Justice
8 Place Bir Hakem
El-Biar, Alger, Algérie
Fax: +213 2 922560 / 925557 / 796557 / 722560
Telegrams: Ministre de la Justice, Alger, Algérie
Salutation: Monsieur le Ministre / Your Excellency
COPIES TO:
M Kamel REZZAG-BARA
President, Observatoire National des Droits de l'Homme (ONDH)
Palais du Peuple
1 Av. Franklin Roosevelt
Alger, Algerie
Fax: +213 2 601042
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 13 September 1996.

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