ALGERIA: ALKARAMA SUBMIT URGENT APPEAL TO UN MECHANISMS ON FORMER GENDARME ADEL ABDELMALEK
On 29 August 2023, Alkarama sent an urgent appeal to the United Nations Working Group on Enforced Disappearances regarding former gendarme Mr. Adel Abdelmalek, who has been in enforced disappearance since his abduction on Saturday 19th August evening from the headquarters of the National Gendarmerie in the wilaya of Tebessa by a group affiliated with the Algerian intelligence, according to his brother, journalist Anouar Malek.
Mr. Adel Abdelmalek (36) was arrested from his home in the new neighborhood of the Charia Department, Tebessa province, Algeria on 13 August 2023, when a group from the Algerian National Gendarmerie raided the paternal house and took him to their station and before intelligence forces kidnapped him and took him to an unknown location. To date, there is no news about his current situation.
According to his family, Mr. Adel Abdelmalek was last seen on Saturday, 19 August 2023 at the headquarters of the National Gendarmerie in Tebessa, where he was handed clothes and some food.
The victim's father filed a report with the prosecutor to report on the whereabouts of his son but the judiciary authorities invited him to search for him elsewhere adding that they had no information about him. The father also approached the National Gendarmerie station where he was being held in Tebessa, where he was told that the intelligence services were seiwed of the case and that they had no further information.
Raid of families home
On 13 August 2023, at five o'clock in the morning, a group of several security forces from the wilaya of Tebessa came to the city of Charia, located about 50 kilometers away, where they raided the house of the elderly father.
The victim's retired brother, Ezzedine Abdelmalek, who lives with his parents, was also arrested, while another group of security forces went to arrest another brother named Ahmed.
The security force that raided the father's house was mainly looking for Mr. Adel Abdelmalek. They arrested him and confiscated all the victims' phones and computers. The three brothers were taken to the headquarters of the National Gendarmerie in Charia.
While the brother Ahmed was released following his interrogation, the other two brothers were transferred directly to the state of Tebessa, where they were interrogated.
While Ezzedine was released about 24 hours after his arrest, Mr. Adel Abdelmalek remained in detention. His mobile phone was searched and posts were found on his personal Facebook page, which they used as a pretext to fabricate a case against him. His case was then referred to the Public Prosecutor at the Charia Court on 17 August 2023 and then to the investigative judge.
Following his interrogation before the investigating judge, Mr. Abdelmalek was released under judicial control until the date of the trial.
However, the National Gendarmerie did not implement the judge's decision and Mr. Abdelmalek was taken to Tebessa under the pretext of signing some papers.
After they went to the headquarters of the National Gendarmerie, the family was surprised to discover that there was another case against Mr. Abdelmalek before the Constantine Military Court and that he would appear before it on 20 August 2023.
The victim's family is currently in a state of concern for the fate of her son, whose traces have disappeared since the last time he was seen at the National Gendarmerie headquarters in Tebessa on 19 August 2023.
According to private sources, Mr. Abdelmalek is in the "Antar Center", a center located in Ben Aknoun and which belongs to the Algerian intelligence service, famous for torture and ill-treatment of detainees.
Background of the case
The arrest and enforced disappearance of Mr. Adel Abdelmalek is part of the Algerian authorities' series of abuse against the family in retaliation for his brother Anwar Malek’s media activism and political refugee in France.
Previously, the two brothers, Mr. Adel Abdelmalek and his brother Abdelghani Abdelmalek, were working in the National Gendarmerie. Initially arrested in March 2022, they remained in detention until May, when they were brought before a disciplinary board affiliated with the entity they work.
Dismissed from their jobs and deprived of all their rights, including their right to retirement, they were officially informed of this unjust decision on 5 July 2022. All their petitions submitted to the authorities and officials, including President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, were completely ignored by the authorities.