Urgent Action – Arrest, Torture, Harassment

The World Organisation Against Torture/

l’Organisation Mondiale contre la Torture



Tel: (41 22) 733 3140 | Fax: (41 22) 733 1051




Urgent Action- Arrest, Torture and Harassment

February 5, 1998

Geneva – The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a programme of FIDH and OMCT, requests your URGENT intervention in the following situation in the Algeria.

Brief description of the situation: The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders has been informed of the arrest, in Alger, on the 4th February 1998, at around 9:00 p.m., of the sons – Karim and Farid – of the lawyer Mahmoud KHELILI, President of the National Union of Algerian Lawyers (Independent). Mr KHELILI is a respected and well known figure internationally for his work as a human rights defender. Members of both the Police and the Military severely beat Karim KHELILI, 35 years old, who is mentally disabled. They threatened and insulted the members of the family who were present. They also searched the house.

Karim and Farid KHELILI were both taken away. Mr Farid KHELILI was released around midnight having being subjected to threats of torture. Karim KHELILI, who bled profusely during his arrest, is still detained at an unknown location.

It is feared that he has been detained at the Chateauneuf Centre recorded as a place where torture is systematically practised. The Observatory has every reason to believe that these actions have been taken with a single objective: to harass, threaten and put pressure on Mahmoud KHELILI because of his work in defence of human rights. This is moreover, the third time in less than two years that Mr KHELILI and his family have been made victims of such action on the part of the Security Services, both at his law practice and his home. The Observatory has serious grounds to fear that the life of Karim KHELILI is under serious threat.

Action Requested: Please write to the Algerian authorities demanding that they:

i release immediately and unconditionally Karim KHELILI and guarantee his physical and psychological integrity;

ii. Identify and sanction those responsible for these actions

iii. put an end to the harassment of the lawyer KHELILI, his family and more generally human rights defenders in Algeria and guarantee them the means to act freely in conformity with the international commitments of Algeria;

iii. more generally conform to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Conventions ratified by Algeria.

Addresses: Monsieur Liamine ZEROUAL, Président de la République,

Présidence de la République, El Mouradia,

Alger, Algérie, Fax. + 213 2 60 96 18 Monsieur le Ministre de

l’Intérieur, Ministère de l’Intérieur, 18 Rue Docteur

Saadane, Alger, Algérie, Fax + 213 2 736 106 Monsieur le Ministre de la

Justice, Ministère de la Justice, 8 Place

Bir Hakem, El-Biar, Alger, Algérie. Fax + 213 2 922 560, 92 5557, 79 65

57 The Embassy of Algeria in your

respective states. Copies to M. Kamel Rezzag – Bara, Président de

l’Observatoire National des Droits de

l’Homme, Fax : + 213 2 23 90 05, 239 037, 601 042

Geneva, Paris, 5th February 1998. Kindly inform us of any action

undertaken, quoting the reference number given

above. The Observatory, an FIDH and OMCT venture, is dedicated to the

protection of Human Rights Defenders

and aims to offer them concrete support in their time of need. To

contact the Observatory, call the emergency

Line: Fax: 33 (0) 1 40 39 22 42 Tel.: FIDH 33 (0) 1 48 05 82 46 OMCT : +

41 22 733 31 40, E-mail:


For further information, contact Ben Schonveld, Projects Manager

OMCT-SOS-Torture Fax 4122 733 1051 Ph

4122 733 3140. OMCT is l’Organisation Mondiale contre la Torture / The

World Organisation Against Torture.

OMCT@IPROLINK.CH http://www.omct.org/



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