Abril 23, 2007

Algeria: Detención arbitraria y desaparición forzada

The International Secretariat of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Algeria.

Brief description of the situation

The International Secretariat of OMCT has been informed by a reliable source as well as by Antenna International, member organisation of the SOS-Torture Network, of the arbitrary arrest and disappearance of Mr. Abdelaziz Zoubida. Mr. Zoubida is a 25 year-old student in the city of Constantine.

According to the information received, Mr. Abdelaziz Zoubida was arrested on 11 April 2007 around 19:45 by agents of the Department for Information and Security (DRS- Département du renseignement et de la securité). The arrest took place at the university residence’s hall in Constantine.

The morning of his arrest, some agents came looking for him while he was in class. Later that day, once he was back in his room, one of the university guards informed him that some visitors were waiting for him at the entrance hall of the building. M. Abdelaziz Zoubida made his way down to the entrance hall and was not to be seen again since.

According to the same information, when Mr. Zoubida’s friends noticed that he had not come back, they alerted the guards. The guards then informed them that Mr. Abdelaziz Zoubida had been arrested by two DRS agents. The agents had come onboard a gray Cielo automobile with Algiers licence plates, and had presented no warrant of arrest. Mr. Abdelaziz Zoubida’s friends immediately alerted the Police brigade, who assured them that an investigation would be launched into these events. Nevertheless, there has been no news of his whereabouts since then.

When the organisation Association of the Families of Disappeared Persons in Algeria (CDFA - Collectif des Familles de Disparu(e)s en Algérie) informed Mr. Abdelaziz Zoubida’s family of the situation, the Zoubida family immediately went to Constantine to register a formal complaint. Accompanied by the president of the NGO SOS-Disappeared (Comité de Sos Disparus), they reportedly met the guards at the residence’s hall before heading to the National Police Brigade of Zouaghi. The Brigade’s commanding officer allegedly claimed to know nothing of Mr. Abdelaziz Zoubida’s whereabouts.

Mr. Abdelaziz Zoubida’s family registered a complaint before the Public Prosecutor of the Court of Ziada (Procureur de la République près le Tribunal de Ziada). Then they went to the “Territorial Intelligence and Enquiry Centre” (CRDI - Centre territorial des renseignements et des investigations) of the Ministry of Defense, where the officials reportedly stated to have no information on Mr. Zoubida’s whereabouts.

The International Secretariat of the OMCT is gravely concerned with the arrest and disappearance of Mr. Abdelaziz Zoubida, as well as with the risk of torture to which he is consequently vulnerable. OMCT calls on the Algerian authorities to locate him as soon as possible and to guarantee his physical and psychological integrity. OMCT recalls that Algeria is Party to the United Nations’ Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, which prohibits torture and all other ill-treatment. Furthermore, Algeria is also Party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which states on article 9.1 that no one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention.

Actions requested

Please write to the Algerian authorities urging them to:

i. Take all necessary measures to locate Mr. Abdelaziz Zoubida;

ii. Guarantee Mr. Abdelaziz Zoubida’s physical and psychological integrity;

iii. Order Mr. Abdelaziz Zoubida’s immediate release in the absence of valid charges, or, if such charges exist, bring him before an impartial, independent, competent and fair tribunal and guarantee his procedural rights at all times;

iv. Order a thorough, independent and impartial investigation into these events, in order to identify all those responsible, bring them to trial and apply the civil penal and/or administrative sanctions as provided by law;

v. Ensure the respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms throughout the country in accordance with national legislation and international human rights standards.


- Mr. Abdelaziz Bouteflika, President of the Republic, El Mouradia-BP Alger Gare, Fax 00213 21 69 15 95, Email: President@el-mouradia.dz

- Mr. Tayeb Belaiz, Minister of Justice, Ministry of Justice, 8 Place Bir-Hakem El-Biar, Alger, Algeria, Fax 00 213 21 92 17 01/ 29 56, Email: info@mjustice.dz

- H.E Idriss Jazaïry, Ambassador, Permanent Representative to the United Nations (Geneva), Route de Lausanne 308, CH-1293, Bellevue, Suisse, Email: mission.algerie@mission-algerie.ch, Fax: +4122 / 774.30.49

- H.E. Halim Benattallah, Ambassador, Embassy of Algeria in Brussels, Avenue Molière 207, 1050 Brussels, Fax: 0032 343 51 68, Email: Iinfo@algerian-embassy.be

Please also write to the Algerian diplomatic representations in your country.

Posted by marga at Abril 23, 2007 7:12 PM | TrackBack
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