4 February 2013

Algeria - Sentences of Imprisonment and Fines Against Human Rights Activists

press release

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information(ANHRI), denounces today the sentences of imprisonment and fines issued on the background of the protests that broke-out in the city in order to protest on the rising percentage of employment and the decline the ratio of economic development in the province.

Warqala court in Algeria, on Sunday February 3, 2013, issued its decision against the activist "Taher Bela'bas", the national coordinator related the defense of the unemployment rights committee, for a month imprisonment and a fine of 50 thousands Dinars (500 EURO).

He was accused of "unarmed assembly" on the background of the set-in established with some of his colleagues in January 2, 2013 in front of the agency of employment (ministry of unemployed forces) to call on employing them in Petroleum companies as Warqala has the biggest oil filed in Algeria.

In the same hearing, the court sentenced the two activists "Khaled Dawi and Ali Ghabshi" for two months on suspension and a fine of 50 thousands Dinar (500 EURO) after they pressed the same charges on him but it found them acquitted.

It is worthy to be mentioned the court that took place in January 20, 2013, in the middle of a huge demonstration, to call for acquittals for all the defendants. The the defense of "Belabas" noted that he will be free until the run of all the challenges and the final judgment to be issued against him.

ANHRI said "the prosecution of the rights' activists to exercise their natural right to peaceful protest, is a deliberate undermining to the freedom of expression that is guaranteed by the international treaties, of which the countries are bound by, among these treaties International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights as Algeria ratified it. Such prosecutions are a politicization using of the judiciary to repress the opponents of the regime and harassing them, which will left the democratic legislation of the regime".

ANHRI added that "the intimation policy that are being adopted by the Algerian authorities regarding the right to expression and call for decent life will be useless and will make them escalate their protest and will make them won't be peaceful".

ANHRI said that the authorities should recall the statements of "Farouk Qstantini" the chairman of the consultive committee for human rights, in which he mentioned that the file of human rights is improving, even if it was slowly, as most of these events indicate that the file of human rights is on a setback not in progression. ANHRI calls on the drop of all charges pressed on the activists, release them and stop all the legal prosecutions to the individuals as a result of their exercise to their natural rights in the peaceful protest.

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