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ترجمة و تحرير: رقية مصطفى : يكتب لنا رئيس تحرير جريدة يني شفق ابراهيم كراغول قائلا: في حال اضطر الجنود الاتراك والسوريين لمواجهة بعضهم البعض فان الوضع لن يقتصر فقط على الدولتين المزيد

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ما يحمله السادس من أيار هو تاريخ مجهول للبنان فأي وصاية ستكون عليه هذه المرة! نعلم بأن التحويلات المالية التي تصرفها دولة الإمارات لدار الفتوى (على نسق واحد مع آلية تمويل الحسينيات المزيد

 

DON’T SILENCE FAMILIES OF THE DISAPPEARED CALLING FOR THE TRUTH

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DON’T SILENCE FAMILIES OF THE DISAPPEARED CALLING FOR THE TRUTH

Amnesty International, the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN) and the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (a joint programme of the International Federation for Human Rights – FIDH – and the World Organisation Against Torture – OMCT), deplore the Algerian authorities’ attempts to silence families of victims of enforced disappearance by violently breaking-up their last two weekly peaceful protests. The organizations call on the authorities to allow families of victims of enforced disappearance to hold peaceful protests without fear of reprisals, and to respond to their legitimate demands for truth, justice and adequate reparation

On 11 August, law enforcement officials prevented some 40 relatives of victims of enforced disappearance and their supporters from holding a peaceful protest in front of the official human rights body, the National Advisory Commission for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights (Commission nationale consultative de promotion et de protection des droits de l’Homme, CNCPPDH) in Algiers. Officials did not provide the families with an official reason for preventing their peaceful demonstration, merely stating that they are following “orders from above”.

Families of victims of enforced disappearance have been demanding for years that the authorities reveal the fate and whereabouts of their relatives, who vanished after being taken away by members of the security forces during the 1990s internal conflict. They have been holding peaceful protests in front of the CNCPPDH, and its predecessor the National Observatory for Human Rights (Observatoire national des droits de l’Homme), nearly every Wednesday since 1998.

Following the Algerian authorities’ refusal for families to hold a similar protest on the previous Wednesday, as has been their norm for about 12 years, a number of activists participated in the protest on 11 August in solidarity. They included at least four human rights defenders from the Algerian League for the Defence of Human Rights (Ligue Algerienne for la Defense des Droits de l’Homme – LADDH) including its head Moustafa Bouchachi, as well as human rights lawyer Amine Sidhoum.

Amnesty International, the EMHRN and the Observatory are deeply concerned that Algerian law enforcement officials violently dispersed the protestors pushing and hitting them at random according to accounts of eyewitnesses. Reports received by the organisations indicate that Algerian officials did not spare the aging mothers and even grandmothers of victims of enforced disappearance. Algerian officials also hit several human rights defenders and lawyers, who attempted to intervene to protect the relatives of the disappeared from being injured. As a result of the violent breakup of the protest, Fatma Lakhal, wife of a victim of enforced disappearance, and Hassan Farhati, member of the association SOS-Disappeared ( SOS-Disparus), the organizers of the protest, fell on the ground and fainted. Members of the police called an ambulance, and both were hospitalized for several hours. After having broken-up the gathering, Algerian officials forced the remaining protestors into a bus that drove them away.

Amnesty International, the EMHRN and the Observatory also regret that the Algerian judicial police arrested and briefly detained four of the protestors in an apparent attempt to intimidate them and deter them from holding similar demonstrations. Among those arrested were two members of the LADDH, and the 82 year-old father of a victim of enforced disappearance. They were all released within several hours without being formally charged.

Instead of penalizing families for calling for the truth about their disappeared relatives, the Algerian authorities should:

Ensure that human right defenders, families of the victims of enforced disappearance and others can conduct their human rights work and express views and opinions on human rights issues without fear of intimidation, harassment or prosecution by respecting the United Nations Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders);

Immediately conduct a full, independent and impartial investigation into allegations of violent conduct by security forces against peaceful protestors;

Ensure that the rights to freedom of expression and assembly, as set out by Articles 19 and 21 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Algeria is a state party, are respected in practice and that no undue restrictions are placed on the exercise of these rights; and

Conduct full, impartial and independent investigations into the enforced disappearance of thousands of individuals during the 1990s internal conflict and bring those responsible to justice in proceedings meeting international standards of fair trial.

For more information, please contact:

Amnesty International: Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui: +442074135643

EMHRN: Shaimaa Aboul Khir +45 32 64 17 16

OMCT : Delphine Reculeau: + 41 22 809 49 39

FIDH: Karine Appy: + 33 1 43 55 25 18

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