The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) made public its decision on the complaint El Fadel Breica against the Algerian government and the polisario militia.
Berlin, Germany., July 9, 2020 -- The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) made public its decision on the complaint El Fadel Breica against the Algerian state and the polisario militia. The Charges against the polisario and the Algerian security services are kidnapping, torture, captivity and illegal detention for more than four months. His crime is the defense of human rights of the populations in the Tindouf camps, more particularly his participation in a sit-in in front of the Algerian embassy in Madrid to demand the whereabout of his cousin El Khalil Ahmed Braih, missing since his abduction in January 2009, in Algiers by the Algerian intelligence services.
The UN experts, affirmed at the end of their deliberations at the 87th session of the WGAD/UN that "Algeria is to be held responsible as long as El Fadel Breica was in Tindouf camps on the Algerian territory and therefore under the territorial jurisdiction of Algeria". Also, the UN experts expressed that "the detention of El Fadel Breica results from the peaceful exercise of his rights to freedom of expression and association. They added that the victim was kidnapped without any arrest warrant, was not informed of the reasons for his arrest, was not brought before a judge during the four months of his detention and that his right to an effective appeal has also been violated". The UN experts concluded that the arrest and detention of Breica has no legal basis and is arbitrary.
Concerned about arbitrary detention practices carried out by the Algerian security forces and polisario militia in the camps of Tindouf, the WGAD/UN experts asked the Algerian authorities to facilitate their visit to this country "in order to initiate a dialogue with its government on this subject". The United Nation WGAD expressed its intention to demand that the Algerian authorities take the necessary measures to open a thorough and independent investigation to look into the circumstances of Breica's arbitrary detention. The UN WSAG is calling on the Algerian government to report to it on the implementation of all the recommendations on Breica’s case.
The UN body paved the way for hundreds of victims and their dependents to demand justice and compensation and also to hold both the Algerian security forces and the polisario militia accountable for any violation of their rights. The Algerian government is expected to inform the working group of the United Nations, within six months, on the measures it took to open an investigation into the arbitrary arrest and detention of Breica and his compensation, as well as the prosecution of the perpetrators of these violations. Algeria has been denying any involvement in the violation of human rights of the refugees on its territory and has been getting away with it. Now, the world should hold the Algerian government accountable for violations of the rights of the most helpless refugees who have been detained in Tindouf Camps for almost half a century with no freedom of movement.
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Elle P. Wolfgang
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