Boucherf v. Algeria

Comm. No. 1196/2003, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/86/D/1196/2003 (2006)

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Boucherf v. Algeria

United Nations Human Rights Committee
Comm. No. 1196/2003, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/86/D/1196/2003 (2006)

Facts

Fatma Zohra Boucherf (plaintiff) was a citizen of Algeria (defendant). Fatma submitted a communication on behalf of her son, who disappeared in 1995. Neighbors informed Fatma that five policemen came to her neighborhood and arrested her son, Riad Boucherf, and threw him into the trunk of a car. Riad was taken to a local police station. Riad had no contact with anyone outside of prison after his arrest. Five days later, police returned and arrested Fatma’s other son, Anime Boucherf. Upon release, Anime reported that while in prison, he met another detainee who indicated that Riad was being imprisoned there and that both men had been tortured. Fatma submitted the testimony of a different man who was also imprisoned with Riad and reported that both men had been tortured. In 1996 a nurse told Fatma that Riad was being held at a different detention center and was transferred to a hospital with four broken ribs and hospitalized for 21 days. Later, three men from Fatma’s neighborhood were arrested and imprisoned for three years. After the men were released, they reported that they had been tortured by the officer who tortured Riad. The men reported being threatened that they would be killed just as Riad had been. In response to Fatma’s requests for an investigation, authorities repeatedly denied knowing where Riad was and issued a general statement that Riad had never been arrested or imprisoned. Fatma alleged violations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (the covenant) under several articles, including Articles 7 and 9. In response, Algeria denied ever having imprisoned Riad. Subsequently, the Human Rights Committee (the committee) asked Algeria not to invoke a new draft amnesty law by which Algeria planned to reject all claims against the state for forced disappearances. Algeria did not respond.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)

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