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Algeria: Update – Bail application of human rights defender Abdelkader Kherba rejected
On the morning of 28 August 2012, the trial of human rights defender Mr Abdelkader Kherba was adjourned until 4 September. The list of witnesses provided by the defence was accepted by the Ksar Bukhari Court, but the human rights defender was denied bail with no justification provided for keeping him in detention.
A large number of civil society actors, including trade unionists, human rights defenders and others, attended Kherba Abdelkader's bail hearing to show their support for the human rights defender.
Abdelkader Kherba was arrested on 21 August while participating in a peaceful protest against water shortages in Ksar Bukhari. However, the human rights defender's lawyers have managed to obtain a copy of the case-file with some difficulty, and it appears that Abdelkader Kherba's arrest is not linked to his participation in the protest. Instead, Abdelkader Kherba's arrest is related to allegations made previously by a security official from the Ksar Bukhari district that the human rights defender had insulted him. Abdelkader Kherba pleaded not guilty to these charges on 15 June.
The trial was adjourned until 4 September at the behest of Abdelkader Kherba's lawyers, in order to allow them to present witnesses to testify to the fact that the human rights defender was in a meeting with an independent union in Algiers for the duration of the day on which he is alleged to have committed the offence.
Front Line Defenders reiterates its call on the Algerian authorities to immediately release and drop all charges against human rights defender Abdelkader Kherba as it is believed that these measures have been taken against them solely on account of his legitimate and peaceful work in defence of human rights.
For further information on this case, please see the Front Line Defenders urgent appeal dated 23 August 2012.