Algeria held accountable to the HRC for massive violations committed with complete impunity in the Tindouf camps

Algeria has once again been held accountable before the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) for its full responsibility for the numerous violations and massive abuses committed with complete impunity in the camps controlled by the Polisario armed groups in Algerian territory. In a joint statement made at the 49th session of the HRC, the international non-governmental organization Promoting Economic and Social Development and Sustainable Development (PDES) and the Saharan Observatory for Peace, Democracy and Human Rights Homme (OSPDH) pointed to Algeria’s failure to fulfill its obligations under international law against the people of Tindouf, condemning, in particular, the refusal of the authorities of that country to open investigations into cases of “denial of the right to life”, crimes and executions committed by separatist gangs and Algerian security forces against residents of these camps. “While POLISARIO acknowledged that there had been human rights violations in the past, it did not provide clear data on enforced disappearances, kidnappings, extrajudicial executions, summary or arbitrary executions, torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment in detention centers,” the statement said. marked. Recalling that the right to life is guaranteed by article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, NGOs point out that “exceptional circumstances, including a state of war, threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency are not may justify extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.” In this sense, PDES and OSPDH note that the authorities of the Algerian state continue to carry out killings without any judicial or legal procedure. Both organizations recall in this regard the numerous cases of killings by the Algerian forces of the Saharan population. As an illustration, they cite the case of three young Saharans who were targeted by the Algerian army in 2014 in the Oudayat Tutrat region on the Algerian-Mauritanian border. “The incident killed Khatri Hammad Ould Handud and Alien Mohamed Abih, while Maychan Salek Al Bukhari received serious gunshot wounds to the head.” On February 28, 2017, a young Saharan from Bara, Mohamed Ibrahim, was shot and killed by the Algerian army near Tindouf in southwestern Algeria. On March 24, 2017, Kari Mohamed Ali Eluali was killed at one of the checkpoints after his car was shot at by the Algerian military. On May 4, 2017, Algerian army soldiers ambushed Hafdallah Abdu Ahmed Baibbut while he was delivering food to shepherds. In addition, on August 2, 2019, Algerian army units in an area known as “Atgililat Ahmed Moulud” shot and killed young Yaslam Hammadhu Ould Handud. On October 19, 2020, Moha Ould Hamdi Ould Suilem and Ali Elidrissi were burned alive and in cold blood by Algerian military patrols. In November 2021, elements of the Algerian army killed Belkbir Ould Ould Blesse Ould Sidahmed Ould Elmarki and seriously wounded Ould Mohamed Fadel Ould Limam Ould Chgaybin near the camps of Tindouf. On 26 November 2021, members of the Algerian army killed one child and wounded another. “Thus, we have recorded multiple killings by the Algerian army against the inhabitants of the Tindouf camps in southwestern Algeria, who do not pose any danger or danger to public order and security,” the same source clarifies, noting that “These cases can be qualified as systematic killings.” Faced with this reality, the Algerian authorities refrain from reviewing or discussing these violations committed against the population in the Tindouf camps, both organizations deplore. For the two NGOs, “the failure to establish legal responsibility for these killings is in itself a violation of the right to life.” Given the nature of these violations of the “right to life”, and in order to guarantee this right and prevent the persistence of a climate of impunity, the Algerian state is under an obligation under international law to investigate the violations and arbitrary executions committed against all these young people, they insisted, noting that “any refusal on his part to investigate these cases constitutes a violation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights”. Condemning these abuses, which violate the right to life of the population of the Tindouf camps, PDES and OSPDH state that “the Algerian state and the leaders of the Polisario are responsible for these crimes” and demand that “the perpetrators of these crimes be held accountable.”

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