S.E. Abdelaziz Bouteflika
Pr?sident et Ministre de D?fense National
L?Office de la Pr?sident
Pr?sidence de la R?publique
Place Mohamed Seddik Benyahya el-Mouradia
BP Alger Gare
Fax: +213 21 650997 / +213 21 606628
Email: [email protected]
I am William Nicholas Gomes, Human rights defender and Freelance journalist.
I would like to draw your attention to the following case.
On 15 July 2015 human rights defender Kamal Eddine Fekhar was interrogated by an investigating judge in the city of Al-Manee’a. During the interrogation the human rights defender was accused of plotting to create, with the 24 others arrested with him on 9 July 2015, a ?harmful? organisation. The 25 human rights defenders and activists had been arrested by Algerian police while praying at a mosque in the city of Gharda?a.
Kamal Eddine Fekhar was a member of the Ligue Alg?rienne pour la D?fense des Droits de l’Homme ? LADDH (Algerian League for the Defense of Human Rights). He is the founder of Tifawt, a foundation that works to protect and promote the human rights of the Amazigh people.
On 27 March 2013 Kamal Eddine Fekhar was part of a protest in Gharda?a against Eid Zarbeya, an annual celebration introduced by the authorities several years ago in the city of Gharda?a. The protest was against the amount of money used for the celebration and how the celebration promotes corruption and is a way to deny society’s problems. The human rights defender was arrested at the protest by Algerian police. He was charged with destroying the Algerian flag. Kamal Eddine Fekhar was detained in Gharda?a prison for two weeks and was released pending trial, on the condition that he visits the police station once a week. He was sentenced to one year imprisonment in 2014; Kamal Eddine Fekhar appealed the decision and awaits his appeal hearing in October 2015.
The human rights defender was arrested in the street in Gharda?a in 2009 by Algerian police, who charged him with burning a police car on the basis of a claim made by a citizen that he did. The citizen later stated that he never claimed Kamal Eddine Fekhar had committed this crime. Kamal Eddine Fekhar was also arrested on 18 May 2005 in Galma city at a checkpoint and accused of possessing CDs ?harmful? to national unity, in particular photos of protests. The human rights defender was detained for three days in a police station. His first arrest occurred on 13 October 2004, during protests in the city of Ghardaia against social problems in the city. He was charged with calling for unlicensed protests, as well as threatening national unity and the security of the country. He was detained for five months in Ghardaia prison, during which he was beaten and verbally assaulted.
I urge the authorities in Algeria to:
1. Immediately and unconditionally release Kamal Eddine Fekhar, as Front Line Defenders believes that he is being held solely as a result of his legitimate and peaceful work in the defence of human rights;
2. Take all necessary measures to guarantee the physical and psychological integrity and security of Kamal Eddine Fekhar;
3. Guarantee in all circumstances that all human rights defenders in Algeria are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions.
William Nicholas Gomesa
Human Rights Defender & ?Freelance Journalist
Email: [email protected]