Strona główna Prawo Komitet Praw Człowieka Abdelhamid Benhadj vs. Algeria - liczne naruszenia praw człowieka wobec lidera partii opozycyjnej

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Abdelhamid Benhadj vs. Algeria - liczne naruszenia praw człowieka wobec lidera partii opozycyjnej PDF Drukuj Email
 Facts :

The author of the communication, dated 31 March 2003, is Abdelhamid Benhadj, who is submitting the communication on behalf of his brother, Ali Benhadj, born on 16 December in 1956 in Tunis. The author claims that his brother is a victim of violations by Algeria of articles 7, 9, 10, 12, 14 and 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (the Covenant). He is represented by Mr. Rachid Mesli. The Covenant and its Optional Protocol entered into force for the State party on 12 December 1989.

Ali Benhadj is one of the founding members and, at the time of submission of the communication, the Vice-President of the Front Islamique du Salut (Islamic Salvation Front - FIS), an Algerian political party registered by the State party on 12 September 1989, following the introduction of political pluralism. In the context of upcoming elections and following the gains made by FIS in the 1990 local elections, the Algerian Government was to adopt a new electoral law which was unanimously condemned by all the Algerian opposition parties. In protest against this law, FIS organized a general strike, accompanied by peaceful sit-ins in public squares. After several days of strikes and peaceful marches, the parties agreed to end the protests in exchange for a revision of the electoral law in the near future. However, on 3 June 1991, the Head of Government was asked to resign and the public squares were stormed by the Algerian army.
On 29 June 1991, Ali Benhadj was arrested by military security officers at the State television headquarters, where he had gone to present his party's position. On 2 July 1991, he was brought before the military prosecutor of Blida and charged with "crimes against State security" and "jeopardizing the proper functioning of the national economy". In particular, he was accused of having organized a strike, which the prosecution characterized as subversive, since it had allegedly caused serious damage to the national economy.

FIS won the first round of parliamentary elections on 26 December 1991; the day after the official results were announced, the military prosecutor was supposed to inform the defence lawyers of his intention to discontinue proceedings against Ali Benhadj. On 15 July 1992, the military court of Blida sentenced Ali Benhadj in absentia to 12 years' rigorous imprisonment. He was kept in complete isolation in a tiny punishment cell [ It was too small for him to be able to stand up or lie down.] with no opening onto the outside, except for a hatch in the ceiling, and there he lost all sense of time. He was confined there for two years. He was permitted to write to all the official authorities (the President, the Head of Government, the Minister of Justice, the military authorities) and was assured that his letters would reach the addressees. He went on numerous hunger strikes, which were brutally suppressed by his guards. He was not allowed visits by his family, much less his lawyers.

Decision of admissibility:

With regard to the alleged violation of article 19, the Committee recalls that the freedoms of information and expression are cornerstones in any free and democratic society. It is the essence of such societies that citizens must be allowed to inform themselves about alternatives to the political system/parties in power, and that they may criticize or openly and publicly evaluate their Governments without fear of interference or punishment by the Government, subject to certain restrictions set out in article 19, paragraph 3, of the Covenant. With regard to the allegations that Ali Benhadj's arrest and indictment were politically motivated, and that the restrictions imposed on him since his release are not provided for by law, the Committee notes that it does not have sufficient information to conclude that article 19 has been violated.

The Human Rights Committee, acting under article 5, paragraph 4, of the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, is of the view that the facts before it reveal violations by the State party of articles 9, 10 and 14 of the Covenant.

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