Abdou Bendjoudi, Yacine Zaid, Othmane Aouameur, and Lakhdar Bouzini are Algerian Unionist activists and human rights defenders currently accused of organizing “unarmed public gathering” and “interrupting public order” by the Algerian Attorney General.
They have been accused of these charges after calling for peaceful demonstration to boycott the legislative elections that took place in May 2012.
Abdou Bendjoudi, Yacine Zaid, Othmane Aouameur, and Lakhdar Bouzini were scheduled to face the court for the first time on the 19th of June 2012 in Algeria for the first hearing. Yet, the trail was postponed for September 27th. In accordance with the Penal Code of Algeria, Article No 1/100, should the activists be charged, the penalty is one year in prison.
The detention, restriction, and harassment of peaceful human rights activists have increased in recent years in Algeria; an Algiers prosecutor has requested a three-year prison sentence against the blogger Tarek Mameri who called for a boycott of the May 10 legislative elections through posting videos on his blog and the final verdict of the case is expected on the 27th of June 2012.
Abdou Bendjoudi, Yacine Zaid, Othmane Aouameur, and Lakhdar Bouzini have consistently remained non violence in their human rights activism. The four activists mobilized fellow citizens for strikes, peaceful marches, demonstration and boycott as a means of achieving their aims.
As fellow fighters for human rights in the Middle East and in the world, we are calling on the Algerian Attorney General and the Minister of Justice to immediately drop all charges against them and other human rights activists.