#Algeria Human Rights Activist Dies In Prison: Lawyer

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An Algerian human rights activist and the Mozabite cause, a Berber-speaking minority in Algeria, died Tuesday in pretrial detention, said his lawyer who denounced a “relentless” justice and a “scheduled death”.

Released in July 2017, after serving two years in prison, including for “undermining state security” and “disturbing public order”, Kamel Eddine Fekhar was again arrested and placed on 31 March in detention in Ghardaia, about 480 km south of Algiers, for “attacks on institutions”.

“I confirm the death this morning of Kamel Eddine Fekhar, at Blida hospital”, about forty kilometers south of Algiers, where he was transferred “in a coma”, told the AFP Me Salah Dabouz, lawyer of the deceased who had been on a hunger strike since his incarceration.

In a video posted on his Facebook account, Mr. Dabouz denounces “this eagerness and this scheduled death, provided by the judicial authorities of Ghardaia” who put Mr. Fekhar “in detention for an empty file”.

“I sounded the alarm, it’s been three weeks since Kamel Eddine was detained in inhumane conditions in the prison of Ghardaia hospital; nothing has been done, “said Dabouz.

Mr. Dabouz himself has been charged since the beginning of April with 14 counts of incitement – including incitement to hatred or discrimination, undermining the integrity of the national territory, an attempt to pressure the judges – linked, according to him, to his critics. public actions of the Ghardaia justice against the mozabite militants.

Calls to open an investigation
Doctor, Fekhar is one of the militants arrested after the community violence of which the region of M’zab (whose Ghardaïa is the principal city) was the theater in 2015 between Mozabites, Berbers of rite ibadite, a current of minority of Islam, and Chaâmbas, Arabs of the Maliki Rite.

Mr. Dabouz announced that he was going to lodge a complaint for “failing to assist anyone in danger”, accusing the magistrates “who ordered the detention of Kamel Eddine Fekhar” and “let him die in prison”, and the staff of the Ghardaia Hospital “who treated him badly”.

He indicated that he considered “responsible (Algerian) authorities for the physical integrity of other detainees” and asked “that all files of Mozabites (…) be transferred to another jurisdiction”.

Fekhar’s death prompted calls for an investigation into the circumstances of his death.

The Algerian League for the Defense of Human Rights ( LADDH ) called for “the truth about the death” in detention of Kamel Eddine Fekhar called “prisoner of conscience” and demanded “justice be done”.

The Front of Socialist Forces ( FFS ), the oldest opposition party in Algeria, called for “full understanding of the circumstances of this death” which “comes after weeks of arbitrary and abusive detention under unsustainable conditions. inhumane. ” The party also demanded “immediate release of other prisoners of conscience”.

Citizen organization, the Rassemblement Action Jeunesse ( RAJ ) called for “the opening of an independent and transparent investigation to determine the circumstances of the death of Kamel Eddine Fekhar”.

In December 2016, an Algerian journalist, Mohamed Tamalt, died after three months of hunger strike in prison, where he was serving a two-year sentence for “insulting the President of the Republic”.

AFP

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