The human rights activist Rabah Arkam has been living in America for the last few years, has just sent an open letter to the UN and various NGOs to inform them of the denial of rights suffered by the Kabyle militants. The militants have been waiting for the issuance of their passports for months, some, even years.
OPEN LETTER TO INTERNATIONAL NGOs AND UNITED NATIONS
ALGERIA: CONFISCATION OF PASSPORTS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVISTS
« MUST BE » INVESTIGATED «
They are militant defenders of the rights of the Kabyle people. They have been waiting for several months, or even years for some, the acquisition of their biometric passport, to no avail.
They are Victim of the administrative blackmail of the Algerian State who deprived their rights of having a passport, they launch a distress call to the public opinion, to the press, to the NGOs, to all the free voices and to all human rights defenders to denounce these arbitrary actions against the individual freedoms of citizens whose only fault is to have publicly assumed their political views and defended the rights of the Kabyle people.
Lazhar Bessadi, 30, a human rights defender, has been waiting for a response to his passport application since October 2016, said: « After the closure of my computer tool store in Tizi Ouzou, and even deprived of working in a private company or State. I find myself, therefore, without work. But worse, I still pay the taxes of a trade register that was confiscated by the gendarmerie. I was even prevented from striking it off.”
Until then, no official figure of blocked passports has been made public, here are some cases that show the state of inquisition that live Kabyle human rights activists, whether in Kabylia, the diaspora, or even associations:
– Akli Darder
– Bessadi Lazhar
– Djaffar Hami
– Farid Djennadi
– Kahina Mebarki
– Medda Arezki
– Mouloud Hamrani
– Tahar Amichi
These blackmail has been used by all authoritarian regimes in history against human rights activists in the vain hope of diverting them from their ideals of freedom and dignity.
« After making Kabylie a vast open-air prison and a zone of lawlessness for its own children, the Algerian State arbitrarily confiscates the Kabyle militants’ passports in order to put pressure on them, to penalize them for their political opinions and to force them into submission. » denounces Bouaziz Aït Chebib
Associations and NGOs defending human rights must take the necessary measures to ensure that the competent authorities protect any person, individually or in association with others, from any violence, threat, reprisal, discrimination de facto or de jure, pressure or other arbitrary action in the context of the legitimate exercise of their rights as defenders of human rights.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) of 10 December 1948 affirmed that « everyone has the right to move freely and to choose his residence within a State ». It complements this freedom by continuing that « everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country ».
This provision must be analyzed in conjunction with article 9 of the UDHR which provides that « no one shall be arbitrarily arrested, detained or exiled ».
Dated on October 30, 2018
Human rights activist