Algerian anti-corruption activist’s release welcomed but detention questioned
Transparency International (TI), the global anti-corruption organisation, and the UNCAC Coalition, a 200-strong network of civil society organisations promoting the implementation of the UN Convention against Corruption, welcome the release from prison of Algerian anti-corruption activist Dr. Djilali Hadjadj after nine days’ unnecessary detention. We call on the authorities to guarantee his safety, movement and freedom of speech, as well as those of his family.
Dr. Hadjadj was tried in absentia in May 2010 and sentenced to three years in prison for alleged falsification of medical leave certificates in a case dating back to 2000, while he was working for the Algerian national health service. Without prior notice, he was arrested on 5 September in Constantine as he was about to board a plane for France. He was then transferred to Algiers and detained in solitary confinement.
On 13 September a court upheld the May conviction but reduced the penalty to a six months’ suspended sentence and a US$664 fine. Following the hearing he was released. He has confirmed he will appeal the case.
We welcome the release of Dr. Hadjadj but note that he should not have been detained for nine days.
Transparency International and its network of 90 chapters around the world, as well as the UNCAC Coalition will remain close observers of the next steps in the process.
The arrest of Dr. Hadjadj provoked a wave of protest from international anti-corruption and human rights activists as well as journalist protection organisations.
Dr. Hadjad is a medical doctor and journalist and president of a local anti-corruption organisation, Association Algérienne de lutte Contre la Corruption, which is part of the UNCAC coalition.
Transparency International is the global civil society organisation leading the fight against corruption.
The UNCAC Coalition is a network of civil society organisations in 67 countries promoting the ratification, implementation and monitoring of the UN Convention against Corruption.
Note to editors: Previous releases on this subject from TI and the UNCAC Coalition.
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