End of the judicial review against Salah Dabouz but the lawyer continues his hunger strike.
30th of July, 2019.
Algerian lawyer Salah Dabouz, arrested on the 7th of April, 2019, and released the following day, was subject to a hard judicial review until the 24th of July. He had to go three times a week before the investigation judge to Ghardaïa, 600 kilometers away from his place of both residence and work.
This judicial observation measure, which has not been used since 1962 in Algeria, indicates according to Frontline Defenders, that it is an act of reprisals against the lawyer and an attempt to prevent him from exercising his profession as a human rights defender.
Since the 8th of July, the lawyer started an open-ended hunger strike to protest against this judicial persecution that prevented him from exercising during three months.
On the 24th July, the judicial review has been lifted but Salah Dabouz continues his hunger strike. He contests his referral back to the Offences Court, without the investigation having been carried out. According to the lawyer, the investigation judge would have refused to hear him several times and would be subject to external pressure.
Furthermore, the reasons of his hunger strike are not limited to this judicial review. The lawyer denounces Algerian detention conditions which would have caused his client Kamel Eddine Fekhar’s death, on the last 28th of May.
Many rallies and demonstrations have taken place to denounce this injustice against the lawyer. The National Union of the Algerian Bars (NUBA) considers Salah Dabouz’s arrest, last April and his client’s one as damage to the legal profession and accuses the Ghardaïa Court of instrumentalisation of the justice.
On the 11th of July, 2019, thousands of lawyers came out across the country in response to NUBA’s call to denounce arbitrary judgements against prisoners of conscience and to require independence of justice. Also, lawyers called to the end of Salah Dabouz’s judiciary review.
On the 30th of July, many national figures launched a petition to support the lawyer, on hunger strike for 23 days.
The International Observatory for Lawyers in Danger (IOLD) welcomes the lifting of judicial control and provides its full support to lawyer Salah Dabouz as well as to all the Algerian lawyers claiming the independence of the justice.
The IOLD calls to drop the charges against Salah Dabouz and urges the Algerian authorities to comply with the United Nations’ Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers, according to which:
“Lawyers like other citizens are entitled to freedom of expression, belief, association and assembly. In particular, they shall have the right to take part in public discussion of matters concerning the law, the administration of justice and the promotion and protection of human rights and to join or form local, national or international organizations and attend their meetings, without suffering professional restrictions by reason of their lawful action or their membership in a lawful organization. In exercising these rights, lawyers shall always conduct themselves in accordance with the law and the recognized standards and ethics of the legal profession” (Principle n°23).