The group’s condemnation came following a complaint lodged by Sahrawi dissident El Fadel Mohamed Breica against the Algerian state for kidnapping, torture, forcible confinement and illegal detention. Breica had undergone all these hardships when he has been detained for more than four months without trial in Algerian territory by the Polisario militias and Algerian security services.
He was harassed because of his active defense of human rights in the Tindouf camps, more particularly his participation in a sit-in in front of the Algerian embassy in Madrid to demand clarification on the fate of his cousin El Khalil Ahmed Braih, missing since his abduction in January 2009, in Algiers by the Algerian intelligence services.
The UN experts determined at the end of their deliberations within the framework of the 87th session of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) that “Algeria is held responsible since El Fadel Breica was detained in Tindouf, on the Algerian territory and therefore under the territorial jurisdiction of Algeria.”
In their overwhelming conclusions finger pointing Algeria and its Polisario’s henchmen, the UN experts stressed in particular that “the detention of El Fadel Breica ensued the peaceful exercise of his rights to freedom of expression and association, that he was kidnapped, without any arrest warrant, that he was not informed of the reasons for his arrest, that he was not brought before a judge during the four months of his detention and that his right to an effective appeal has also been violated.”
They thus determined that the arrest and detention of Breica has no legal basis and is arbitrary.
The WGAD experts, expressing concern over the extent of arbitrary detention practices in the Tindouf camps, asked the Algerian state to facilitate their visit to this country “in order to initiate a dialogue with its government on this subject.”
Regarding the specific case of Breica, they urged Algerian authorities to take the necessary measures to open a thorough and independent investigation into the circumstances of Breica’s arbitrary deprivation of liberty, take the necessary measures against those responsible for the violation of his rights and for extending him compensation for the damages he suffered in accordance with international law. They likewise demanded that the Algerian government reports to the WGAD/UN on the implementation of these recommendations within six months.
The UN group’s clear decision dismissed Algeria’s maneuvers that seek to cover up its responsibility in the despicable crimes perpetrated with impunity on its territory, by the Polisario, with the complicity of the Algerian army, against the Sahrawis held captive in the Tindouf camps.
The UN body has thus opened the way for hundreds of victims and their dependents from the Tindouf camps to demand that their oppressors and their mentors be held accountable for their crimes.