21 November 2019 –
The UNCAC Coalition expresses its concern over the arrest of Halim Feddal, Secretary-General of the Algerian National Association in the Fight Against Corruption (ANLC), described in a letter the Coalition received on 20 November 2019.
Please find the original letter in French below and the English translation by the UNCAC Coalition here:
Letter from ANLC concerning the arrest of Halim FEDDAL, Secretary-General of the National Association of the Fight Against Corruption (ANLC)
“On Sunday, 17 November 2019, Halim FEDDAL, Secretary-General of the National Association of the Fight Against Corruption (ANLC), was arbitrarily arrested by undercover officers of the municipal security forces in the middle of downtown in Chlef (northern Algeria), where he is currently being detained. His residence was searched by officers of the Search and Investigation Brigade (BRI) who have taken some documents and the central processing unit of his computer.
Halim FEDDAL was scheduled to be brought before the state prosecutor on 19 November 2019. However, his police detention was prolonged in the end.
We are certain that his arrest is linked to his activist activities as a very active member within the ANLC. In fact, the Algerian people, NGOs and journalists know his outspokenness and his courage when it comes to denouncing, with tact and supporting evidence, the institutionalized corruption in his country.
Since 22 February, Halim FEDDAL has been at the forefront of the popular protest, both in the public space, as well as on social media. Thus, the day before his arrest he was forbidden to communicate on his personal Facebook page, probably at the request of the Algerian regime.
Halim FEDDAL is counted among dozens of opponents of the regime who have been arrested since the launch of the electoral campaign in order for the presidential election, wanted by the current leaders and very contested by the people, to unfold without the slightest of problems. Those in power in Algeria seem to want to suppress the dissenting voices and especially decapitate the Hirak (protest movement against the current regime), taking out its national and regional leaders.
The arrest of Halim FEDDAL is a complete contradiction to the commitment of those in power proposing a pacifist and democratic political solution to the crisis the entire country is facing.
Unquestionably, the arrest of Halim FEDDAL is an act of injustice, legally unfounded, as is the imprisonment of all those arrested for speaking their opinion. Consequently, we demand the unconditional release of the Secretary-General of the ANLC and all of the prisoners of the Hirak.
We also hold the Algerian state accountable for the physical and moral harm Halim FEDDAL suffers during his detention.”
Alger, 19 November 2019
President of the Association