Boucherf v. Algeria
Deprivation of Liberty | Refusal to Disclose Fate | Relatives as Victims | State/Non-State Agents | Effective Remedy | Duty to Investigate | Duty to Prosecute | Amnesties | Burden of Proof
The Committee held that incommunicado detention amounts to an arbitrary deprivation of liberty. The Committee also found a violation of the prohibition of inhuman treatment both in relation to the disappeared person due to his disappearance, and the prevention of contact with his family and the outside world. The Committee also found such violations with respect of family members due to the anguish and stress caused by the disappearance of their relative and the continued uncertainty concerning his fate and whereabouts.
March 30, 2006
Article 2(3) [ICCPR], Article 7 [ICCPR], Article 9 [ICCPR]
Articles not violated / not dealt with
Article 14 [ICCPR], Article 16 [ICCPR]
Facts of the Case
Mr. Riad Boucherf was arrested in July 1995 in his neighbourhood by five plainclothes policemen and brought to a police station. According to the testimonies of some of the people arrested with him, Mr. Boucherf was held at the central police station and repeatedly tortured. In December 1996 Mr. Boucherf was sentenced in absentia and in camera to life imprisonment. Mr. Boucherf's mother received several visits and faced intimidation by the security forces, who questioned her on the whereabouts of her son. She was repeatedly told that the authorities had no information on the whereabouts of her son, and that he was in fact sought by the police for being a “terrorist”. In 1997, the police issued a statement denying that Mr. Boucherf had ever been arrested or was in their custody.