28 June 2012

Algeria Jailed and Fined a Blogger for Called for Election-Boycott!

press release

Today ANHRI strongly commended the judgment, made by "Misdemeanor Court" of "SIDI AMOHAMED" in the capital Algeria, of 8 months,suspended sentence, and fine of 100 Algerian Dinars (DA) about (1200 USD). The said judgment meant to punish him for his call for election-boycott on the 10th May.

The Algerian authorities arrested "Tarek" ,(23 years), on the second day of May for investigation, after he posted a video-tape on the social networks, calling for election-boycott, then the public prosecution released him.

Tarek denied the charges against him, assuring that he only expressed his opinion in the appropriate way for him. That was by taping videos and posted it on the INTERNET. He also assured that his words stems from the suffering of the youth of his generation. Such generation is suffering from a lot of social problems. Tarek mentioned that he did not assault anyone , did not block any roads and removed the posters but did not steal or break it, he is only burned his own election-card, as he preferred to do that instead of burning himself.

As a result of the investigation, the public prosecutor charges him of "destroying others' property, burning administrative documents and direct incitement to crowdedness". He called for punishing him of 3 years imprisonment due to the said charges.

Tarek's lawyer said that the file he reviewed is vacuous and there is no evidence against him. He added that, his client did not destroy any properties. As for the destroying of an official document, there is no provision to punish such act. The blogger did not insult any official entity. The lawyer further added that he will appeal within the 10 days in accordance with the law, and all the legal procedures to repeal such un-fair judgment will be taken.

It is worthy to be mentioned that the court "SIDI AMOHAMED" convicted the human rights activist "Abdulkader Kharabah" on the third of may, by a suspended sentence of year imprisonment and fine of 20 thousand Algerian Dinar (DA) about (200 EUR). The court convicted him of "incitement to crowdedness and Impersonation" after he participated in a protest to the court-processors who are in a strike.

On May 6, El-Wadi court (650 KM south-east of Algeria) made a judgment against the "Shiekh Gamel Salawi the salafist" of 6 months, suspended- imprisonment, and a fine of 100.000 DA about (thousand Euros) and banned him from entering Algeria for 10 years, after his fatwa (advisory opinion) of the prohibition of the elections.

There is also four activists to be on trial on the 27 of September by the charges of "incitement of crowdedness" after they were assembled in front of the court during their the trial of their college "Abdulqader Kharabah".

ANHRI strongly condemned the use of the judiciary by the Algerian authorities to press the human rights activists and public freedom activists, for the purpose of impeding their activities and push them to abandon their legitimate and noble demands. ANHRI considers that such judgment, is a conviction to all of the activists, as it does not have basis in law, as well as it was issued in a trial, that did not fulfill the known conditions of the fair trial.

ANHRI wonders: how to punish a citizen for his potions from the elections, in a country assumes that it is democratic and respect the will of its people? Especially, that there is no provision in the Algerian law bans the call for election-boycott?

ANHRI called the Algerian authorities to the the non-penalization of "Tarek" and discharge all of the fabricated chargers against him immediately, as well as the release of all the opinion detainees in its prisons. In addition to reconsidering the way of dealing with the opinion makers, if the Algerian authority is serious about respecting the international and human covenants and treaties that calls for liberties.

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