Human rights violations in the Tindouf camps | Condemnation without appeal of Algeria by the Human Rights Council

Algeria suffers setbacks and criticism from all sides, whether from other states, UN agencies, NGOs or civil society.

The Algerian regime is highlighted for its omerta over the industrial-scale violations committed by the armed militias of the “polisario”, which it has delegated in a blatant violation of international law to the leadership of the Tindouf camps, not to mention, of course, the violations which it itself commits in the rest of its national territory.

The silence and manipulations of the military regime no longer pass. Algeria must assume its responsibilities. Furthermore, under international law, there can be no delegation of sovereignty, since the Tindouf camps are under its authority and responsibility.

For almost half a century, these camps have been the scene of serious human rights violations committed, with complete impunity, by the armed militias of the “polisario” with the involvement of the Algerian army. The Algerian-police tandem has imposed a state of military and media siege on the populations sequestrated in the Tindouf camps, where it is pursuing a policy of terror against a severely weakened population.

However, in accordance with Article 2, Algeria, which is a signatory to the Convention on Civil and Political Rights, has undertaken to guarantee to all individuals within its territory and to its jurisdiction the rights recognized in that Convention and to ensure effective and enforceable remedy when an infringement is found. Nevertheless, the decision of the UN Human Rights Committee (HRC) testifies to the opposite, as the Committee at its 134th session adopted an opinion against Algeria in connection with a complaint lodged on behalf of a former element of the “polisario”, M’Rabih Ahmed Mahmoud Adda , who was able to escape from his torturers to settle in Mauritania.

The Committee, the UN’s reference body on human rights issues, issued a statement in favor of the complainant, “for kidnapping, arbitrary detention, torture and degrading and inhuman treatment”, in return for his participation in demonstrations against the leadership of the “polisario”, while responsible attributed to Algeria.

This statement, which has the value of an official “rejection” of the existence of the puppet entity, unequivocally throws out Algeria and inevitably recognizes its status as a party to the conflict in the Moroccan Sahara.

This is not an isolated case. As early as 2018, in its concluding remarks on Algeria’s fourth periodic report, adopted at its 123rd meeting, the Committee had expressed “its deep concern at the de facto delegation of the powers of the Algerian state, in particular the jurisdictions of + polisario +, underlining that this situation is contrary to the obligations of the State Party, according to which it must respect and guarantee the rights recognized in the Convention to all individuals in its territory ”.

This de facto transfer of Algeria’s powers to “polisario” in part of its territory has created a jurisdictional vacuum depriving the local population of access to the institutions of the host country with legal appeal or justice, and this in total. violation of international conventions and treaties signed by the Algerian regime.

The same concern was reiterated in the report of the Secretary-General of the United Nations (No. S / 2018/889, paragraph 67), in particular the one concerning victims of the Tindouf camps’s lack of access to justice in the courts of the UN State Party. This legal vacuum was exploited by the “polisario” and the Algerian army to systematically oppress anyone who expressed a different opinion than the leadership of the “polisario”, or dared to criticize the corruption and clientelism that flourished in the Tindouf camps.

The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (GTDA) also highlighted Algeria in its Opinion No. 7/2020, adopted at its 87th meeting following the kidnapping of opponent El Fadel Breica, who was tortured and illegally detained for almost 5 months by ” polisario ”management.

The GTDA emphasized in this context that “Algeria’s responsibility has been assumed as long as these violations were committed on Algerian territory and therefore under Algerian territorial jurisdiction”.

The M’Rabih Ahmed Mahmoud Adda case also raises the issue of recruiting child soldiers of “polisario” who rage with impunity in Algerian territory and in blatant violation of international law, as the latter has also been summoned and indoctrinated since the age of 15.

This deviant and inhumane practice is regularly condemned and condemned by the relevant UN mechanisms, where it is often regretted that the leaders of the “polisario” do not hesitate to recruit and parade as soldiers, young children aged from almost 12 or 13 years .

Although Algeria seeks to deny these facts, which it unilaterally considers a “malicious campaign”, its policy of repression and systematic violations, not only of human rights and international law in general, will continue to be criticized and give rise to serious concerns, which will not prevent it from continuing to challenge these irrefutable realities during the next meetings of the Human Rights Council.


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