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Algeria judiciary dissolve oldest human rights association following complaint from Interior Ministry 

Algerian Dar Al-Baida tribunal in the capital Algiers on February 4, 2021 [RYAD KRAMDI/AFP via Getty Images]
Algerian Dar Al-Baida tribunal in the capital Algiers on February 4, 2021 [RYAD KRAMDI/AFP via Getty Images]

The administrative judiciary in Algiers has issued a ruling to dissolve the Algerian League for the Defense of Human Rights (LADDH), an association founded 32 years ago by the late Ali Yahia Abdennour, described as the dean of Algerian jurists. The decision was taken after a complaint by the Ministry of Interior accusing the LADDH of engaging in provocative activities.

Although the ruling was issued on 29 June, 2022, it did not publicly appear until recently, which surprised the LADDH. The LADDH posted on social media platforms that it was astonished by the publication of the ruling, confirming that it was not notified of the complaint, trial or ruling.

The ruling, which the LADDH published on its Facebook page, claims that the LADDH did not comply with the Associations Law of 2012, and did not organise its general assembly and division into five wings. The first wing is led by Hocine Zehouane, the second by Mostefa Bouchachi (backed by Noureddine Benissad) and the third by Saleh Dabouz, who fled the country and resides in Belgium because he is being prosecuted for several issues. The fourth is Sheikh Hussein Diaa and the fifth is Sayed Ali Khamari.

The ruling also points out that the LADDH carried out several activities, which it described as suspicious, and submitted false reports to international organisations about the freedom of association establishment in Algeria.

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The ruling text disclosed: "The LADDH also issued inflammatory statements accusing the authority of suppressing the (Hirak Movement) marches while adopting strict positions to impede the course of reforms to disturb public order and incite protest movements. Its positions included publishing statements to internationalise the phenomenon of illegal immigration, causing discord between the followers of the Maliki and Ibadi doctrines by adopting the idea of ​​defending the persecuted Mozabite minority and the attempt to internationalise it with various international bodies and organisations and the attempt to influence the judiciary by organising protests before the courts. These facts explicitly indicate that this organisation deviated from its goals stipulated in its basic law, according to the Algerian judiciary."

After it reviewed the issued ruling, the LADDH said it was surprised by it and not notified about it to guarantee its right to defence. In its statement, the organisation raised questions about the reason behind concealing the ruling and then recently publishing it, considering that it coincides with the defamation campaign waged against the LADDH and its activists. It also expressed its surprise at publishing the ruling, although the parties to the conflict, specifically the LADDH and the Ministry of the Interior, have the right to view the text of the ruling as stipulated by Algerian law.

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