The state of health of Algerian activist El Hadi Lassouli, arbitrarily arrested for 11 months, worries human rights organizations. Before him, the health of another anti-system Hirak activist deteriorated in prison, leading to his death.
In a press release, the NGO Amnesty International expressed its great concern about the state of health of the Algerian activist El Hadi Lassouli, a simple farmer, father of three children, placed in pre-trial detention for 11 months, without being entitled to a trial.
This practice of extended pre-trial detention has been used by the Algerian authorities since 2019, the year in which President Abdelmadjid Tebboune was elected, who has increased violence and repression against Hirak demonstrators, activists for democracy and the change from a military regime to a civilian regime in Algeria.
The temporary detention operated does not allow the detainees to have a trial and are not counted as prisoners and even less as prisoners of conscience. The Algerian authorities judge the demonstrators of Hirak, even when they solidarize only in line with the demands of democracy, and make them carry heavy charges like the “attack on the security of the State”.
“Following two hunger strikes started to protest against his pre-trial detention, the state of health of the activist (Lassouli) has seriously deteriorated, putting his life in danger, according to his family and his lawyers”wrote Amnesty International
The activist went on a first hunger strike, which began on January 28, 2022 in El Harrach prison in Algiers. He was then transferred to Berrouaghia prison in Médéa where he began a second strike on May 3.
Several detainees from Hirak, placed in pre-trial detention for several months, went on hunger strikes to warn about their situation and the violation of human rights in Algeria, but above all to demand their release.
“According to the standards of a fair trial, anyone detained pending trial has the right to have the proceedings against them carried out within a reasonable time. If not, she has the right to be released pending the start of her trial.”explained Hassina Oussedik, director of Amnesty International Algeria, quoted in the press release.
And “the activist’s claim is legitimate”, adds Amnesty International. A few days before him, on April 19, Hakim Debazi, a father in his fifties, imprisoned for having made pro-Hirak publications on Facebook died, because of the same conditions of detention, after having made two strikes of the hungry, and being held for several months without trial.
“We call for in-depth reform of the law and practice of judicial actors in order to reduce the misuse of pre-trial detention”said Hassina Oussedik.
Since the election of Abdelmadjid Tebboune, power has operated an authoritarian turn never seen in Algeria. And today, everyone is threatened when they express an opinion contrary to the doctrine of the State.
Journalists, activists, politicians, political parties, lawyers, academics, former ministers, senior state executives, all are subject to powerful repression aimed at silencing any protest.