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Continued criminalisation of human rights defenders in Algeria

Status: 
Preventive detention
About the situation

On 15 October 2019, the Criminal Court of Oran ordered the preventive detention of human rights defender Said Boudour.

Said Boudour is facing several charges including “defamation”, “contributing to the weakening of the morale of the army”, and “insulting the regime”. He was conditionally released on 7 October 2019, after being detained by the Algerian authorities since 6 October 2019 in Oran.

About Said Boudour

Said Boudour is a journalist, human rights defender and member of the Algerian League for Human Rights. As well as organising peaceful demonstrations, he works to defend the rights of migrants and political prisoners.

17 October 2019
Said Boudour under preventive detention

On 15 October 2019, the Criminal Court of Oran ordered the preventive detention of human rights defender Said Boudour. According to the Algerian Criminal Procedures Law, he must remain in preventive detention for four months, after which the sanction may be subject to renewal.

11 October 2019
Continued criminalisation of human rights defenders in Algeria

Said Boudour is facing several charges including “defamation”, “contributing to the weakening of the morale of the army”, and “insulting the regime”. He was conditionally released on 7 October 2019, after being detained by the Algerian authorities since 6 October 2019 in Oran.

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Said Boudour is a journalist, human rights defender and member of the Algerian League for Human Rights. As well as organising peaceful demonstrations, he works to defend the rights of migrants and political prisoners.

In late September 2019, following his participation in peaceful, pro-democracy demonstrations in the city of Oran, an arrest warrant was issued for Said Boudour. On 6 October 2019, he turned himself in to the Department of National Security in Oran, where he was detained for almost 24 hours, interrogated, and denied access to his lawyer. Said Boudour is facing several charges, among them, “defamation and the spread of fake news”, “contributing to the weakening of the morale of the Algerian National Armed Forces”, and “insulting the Regime of Algeria”.

For several years Said Boudour has suffered frequent harassment from the Algerian authorities for his coverage of human rights issues in the country. He was detained for such work in June 2016, in June 2018, and on December 2018.

Other human rights defenders have also been subject to harassment from the Algerian state. Human rights defenders Hamid Goura and Slimane Hamitouche were separately detained and interrogated on 8 October 2019, due to their participation in peaceful protests. Hamitouche was later released but given a travel ban and placed on probation which requires him to report to the police station every 15 days. Two days later, on 10 October 2019, human rights defender Abdelouahab Fersaoui, was detained by police officers in plain clothes, and continues to be held in an undisclosed location.

Front Line Defenders is deeply concerned about the crackdown against human rights defenders in Algeria. The arrests and charges against Said Boudour and other human rights defenders are believed to be solely motivated by their peaceful and legitimate work defending human rights in Algeria.