Urgent Interventions

Algeria: Follow-up of case DZA 140409_Mr. Moussa Rahli detained in Blida prison

Case DZA 140409.1_EN
Follow-up of case DZA 140409
Whereabouts located/ Fear for physical and psychological integrity

The International Secretariat of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) has received new information about the following situation in Algeria.

New information

The International Secretariat of OMCT has been informed by a reliable source that Mr. Moussa Rahli, 43 years old and resident in Ouled Aïssa (wilaya of Boumerdes), who had disappeared after his arrest on 17 March 2009, was located.

According to the information received, Mr. Moussa Rahli was located around 20 April 2009 at Blida military prison. Mr. Moussa Rahli has been permitted to see his family but he has not yet been allowed to meet with a lawyer, despite his repeated requests.

The International Secretariat of OMCT remains gravely concerned about the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Moussa Rahli and urges the Algerian authorities to guarantee his safety in accordance with the United Nations Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, both ratified by Algeria, as well as the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners. OMCT is also very much preoccupied about his detention in a military prison and the violations of his procedural rights. OMCT calls on the Algerian authorities to guarantee at all times the liberty of their citizens, in accordance with articles 9.1 and 9.2 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which specify that «no one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention » and «anyone who is arrested shall be informed, at the time of arrest, of the reasons for his arrest and shall be promptly informed of any charges against him ».

Background information

OMCT had been informed about the enforced disappearance of Mr. Moussa Rahli since 17 March 2009 and feared that he may be tortured or subjected to ill-treatment.

According to the information received, on 17 March 2009, at 7pm, four plainclothes individuals entered Mr. Moussa Rahli’s house, and without introducing themselves, or showing any official documents, went directly to his room. When his father, Mr. Mohamed Rahli, asked them who they are, they reportedly answered “We are the State”. Mr. Moussa Rahli was then arrested and taken into a car to an unknown location, under the pretext that he would be interrogated and later released.

According to the same information, following several requests at local commissariats, gendarmeries and military barracks, Mr. Mohamed Rahli lodged a complaint for disappearance at the gendarmerie of Sidi Daoud (wilaya of Boumerdes) on 21 March 2009. On 27 March 2009, the four individuals who had arrested Mr. Moussa Rahli reportedly came again to the family house in order to search the place. They would have seized Mr. Moussa Rahli’s car and ordered Mr. Mohamed Rahli to follow them at the military barracks of Ouled Aïssa, where he had to sign a statement indicating that the four agents had been authorised to search the house and seized the car. However, no information was reportedly given on the place and conditions of detention of Mr. Moussa Rahli.

Requested Action

Please write to the authorities in Algeria urging them to:

  1. Guarantee the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Moussa Rahli;
  2. Guarantee immediate and unconditional access to a lawyer of his choice, his family and adequate medical care if necessary in accordance with UN the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners;
  3. Order the immediate release of Mr. Moussa Rahli in the absence of valid legal charges that are consistent with international law and standards, and if such charges exist, ensure that he is given a prompt and fair trial, in which his procedural rights are guaranteed at all times, including access to a lawyer of his choice;
  4. Call upon the competent authorities to carry out a prompt, effective, thorough, independent and impartial investigation into these events, the result of which must be made public, in order to bring those responsible before a competent, independent and impartial tribunal and apply penal, civil and/or administrative sanctions as provided by law;
  5. Ensure the respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms throughout the country in accordance with national laws and international human rights standards.


  • Mr. Abdelaziz Bouteflika, President of the Republic, El Mouradia-BP Alger Gare, Fax 00213 21 69 15 95, E-mail:
  • Mr. Tayeb Belaiz, Minister of Justice, Ministry of Justice, 8 Place Bir-Hakem El-Biar, Alger, Algeria, Fax 00 213 21 92 17 01/ 29 56, E-mail:
  • H.E. Idriss Jazaïry, Ambassador, Permanent representative of Algeria to the UN in Geneva, Route de Lausanne 308, CH-1293, Bellevue, Switzerland, E-mail:, Fax: +4122 / 774.30.49

Please also write to the embassies of Algeria in your respective country.

Geneva, 23 June 2009

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.