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France: Human Rights Organisations Call for Refusal of Request for extradition of Dr Mourad Dhina by Algerian Authorities
A coalition of ten international and national NGOs today addressed French Prime Minister François Fillon in a public letter calling for Alkarama’s executive director Dr Mourad Dhina not be extradited to Algeria, where he risks torture.
ACAT-France, Alkarama, the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, the Centre Libanais pour les Droits de l’Homme, EUROMED, FIDH, Front Line Defenders, the International Commission of Jurists, the French Ligue des droits de l’Homme and the World Organisation Against Torture expressed their concern that the extradition of Dr Dhina to Algeria would be contrary to France’s human rights obligations.
The above named organisations felt that his arrest might have been requested by the Algerian authorities with a view to muzzle him because of his activities as a human rights defender with Alkarama and his political activities with Rachad, a peaceful political association, legally registered in France, that is seeking democratic change in Algeria.
Extract from Letter
"Dr Dhina has played a key role in exposing human rights violations in the Arab world through his work at Alkarama. In addition, his political activities have been carried out in lawful exercise of his freedom of expression and association, as guaranteed under international law. Dr Dhina had travelled freely to France on numerous past occasions.
We therefore fear that the request by the Algerian authorities may be motivated by a desire to muzzle him because of his political activities with Rachad and his activities as a human rights defender with Alkarama. We further fear that Dr Dhina would be at risk of torture and ill-treatment if he were sent back to Algeria, given the documented use of torture by the Algerian authorities – most recently referred to by the Committee against Torture during its review of Algeria in 2008. This would be contrary to France’s obligations under articles 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights and the United Nations Convention Against Torture.
We also are concerned that Algeria’s record of convicting suspects in manifestly unfair trials in cases involving allegations of terrorism would put Dr Dhina at risk of a conviction and a prison term on the basis of a trial that falls far short of international norms for a fair trial violating the prohibition of non-refoulement"
The full text of the letter is available below as a PDF
For more information, please contact:
ACAT-France – Ms Ophélie Latil, +33 (0)1 40 40 02 12 / +33 (0 7 61 71 66 69
Alkarama - Mr Michael Romig, email@example.com +41 (0)76 542 13 09
Centre Libanais pour les Droits de l’Homme – Mr Wadih Al Asmar, +961 (0)70 950 780
Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EUROMED) Ms Hayet Zeghiche, firstname.lastname@example.org, +32 (0)488 080 041 Fédération international pour les droits de l’homme (FIDH) – Arthur Manet/Karine Appy : + 33 (0)1 43 55 90 19 / + 33 (0)1 43 55 14 12
Front line Defenders - Mr Jim Loughran, email@example.com, +353 (0)87 93 77 586
Ligue des droits de l’Homme de France – Ms Anne Garacoits, +33 (0)1 56 55 51 08 – firstname.lastname@example.org
World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) – Mr Gerald Staberock, Secretary General, +41 (0)22 809 49 39