View Adopted: 2022.07.08
The author of the communication is the wife of Boubekeur Fergani and the father of their five children who lived in Constantine. In 1995,a dozen officers from the security forces arrested Boubekeur and took him to an unknown location. The family was not given any explanation or shown an arrest warrant, while the author spent several months making enquiries with the public prosecutor’s office where she informed of the enforced disappearance of her husband. After four months, the author received information confirming to her that they had been detained with Boubekeur at the Bellevue Territorial Centre for Research and Investigation. The author went to the Centre, but the guards refused to give her any information.
The State party has failed to provide any specific explanation that would make it possible to conclude that an effective remedy is available. Thus, the Committee considers that it is not precluded from considering the communication under article 5 (2) (b) of the Optional Protocol. Additionally, the author has sufficiently substantiated her allegations and the Committee proceeds to consider the merits of her claims under articles 6, 7, 9, 10 and 16 of the Covenant, read alone and in conjunction with article 2 (3), in respect of Boubekeur Fergani, and under article 7, read alone and in conjunction with article 2 (3), in respect of the author.
The deprivation of liberty of the author, followed by a refusal to acknowledge it, removes that person from the protection of the law and places his life at serious and constant risk, for which the State is accountable. Thus, the Committee found that the State party failed in its duty to protect the life of the victim in violation of article 6 (1) of the Covenant.
The Committee considers that it is possible that Boubekeur Fergani is still being held incommunicado by the Algerian authorities. In the absence of any explanation from the State party, the Committee considers that this disappearance constitutes a violation of article 7 of the Covenant. Furthermore, he was arbitrarily arrested without a warrant and was not formally charged or brought before a judicial authority, in violation of article 9 of the Covenant. The State party has not provided any explanation concerning the fate or whereabouts of Boubekeur Fergani despite the requests from his relatives and the fact that, when he was last seen, he was in the hands of the authorities of the State party. The Committee also finds that the State removed the victim from the protection of the law and deprived him of his right to be recognized as a person before the law, in violation of article 16 of the Covenant. Lastly, the Committee takes note of the anguish and distress caused to the author and her family for more than 27 years by the disappearance of Boubekeur Fergani, such being a violation of article 7 of the Covenant, read alone and in conjunction with article 2 (3), in respect of the author.
The State party is obliged, inter alia, to:
Deadline: 8 January 2023
By Maricon Torres Lorenzo