Benaziza v. Algeria
Deprivation of Liberty | Evidence | Judicial Protection | Juridical Personality | Relatives as Victims | Effective Remedy | Duty to Investigate | Duty to Prosecute | Women and Girls | Amnesties | Burden of Proof
The Committee reaffirmed its position that the State should not invoke national legislation prohibiting the opening of proceedings on cases of disappearance happened during the period defined as "National Tragedy" against those who invoke the provisions of the Covenant. It made a finding of inhuman treatment with respect to both the victim and her sons. The Committee further considered that when a person is arrested by the authorities and there is subsequently no news on his/her fate and no investigation is carried out, this omission on the part of the authorities amounts to removing the disappeared person from the protection of the law, finding a violation of the victim’s right to be recognised as a person before the law.
July 26, 2010
Article 2(3) [ICCPR], Article 7 [ICCPR], Article 9 [ICCPR], Article 16 [ICCPR]
Facts of the Case
Ms. Daouia Benaziza was arrested in June 1996 by hooded and armed military security officers who had already unsuccessfully looked for her son in the previous weeks. The officers stated that she would be questioned and she could then return home. Ms. Benaziza has not been seen again since. In the days following her disappearance, Ms. Benaziza’s sons were informed that she had been taken to the barracks. One of her sons proposed to take his mother’s place in order to allow her release: he was arrested by the soldiers but released following an identity check. Ms. Benaziza's sons filed a number of petitions with military, civil, judicial and administrative bodies in order to find out why their mother had been arrested and to obtain information or secure her release. Despite the opening of a number of investigations, none of their petitions yielded any results. In the meantime, Ms. Benaziza's sons learned from unofficial sources that she had died. However, they received no proof of her death and no news on her fate. In September 2005, national legislation prohibiting the opening of proceedings on cases of disappearance happened during the period defined as "National Tragedy" was passed.