Medjnoune v. Algeria
Deprivation of Liberty | Evidence | Burden of Proof
The Committee reaffirmed that the burden of proof cannot rest on applicants alone, holding that credible allegations are to be considered sufficiently substantiated in the absence of satisfactory evidence or explanations to the contrary presented by the State. It made a finding of inhuman treatment and torture of the victim due to the fact that his continued captivity prevented him from communicating with his family and with the outside world, and in light of the circumstances surrounding his apprehension and the testimony that he was tortured. The Committee also found a violation of the victim's right to liberty and security, as he was taken away by agents of the State, held incommunicado with no information about the reasons for his arrest for 218 days, and then held in pretrial detention for more than five years.
July 14, 2006
Article 7 [ICCPR], Article 9(1) [ICCPR], Article 9(2) [ICCPR], Article 9(3) [ICCPR], Article 14(3)(a) [ICCPR], Article 14(3)(c) [ICCPR]
Articles not violated / not dealt with
Article 10 [ICCPR], Article 14(3)(e) [ICCPR]
Facts of the Case
Mr. Malik Medjnoune was abducted near his home by three armed individuals in plain clothes (allegedly, members of the Intelligence and Security Department) in September 1999. The men threatened him with their guns, fired a shot and forced him into the car. He was first taken to a military barracks, where he was beaten, and then taken to a facility of the Intelligence and Security Department, where he was tortured and questioned by the security services. Mr. Medjnoune's father lodged a complaint concerning his son’s disappearance, but no investigation was opened. Mr. Medjnoune appeared twice before a prosecutor, and was then taken back to the facility of the Intelligence and Security Department, where he was held incommunicado for nearly two months up to May 2000, when he appeared in court. He was charged with being an accessory to a murder and with membership in an armed group, and placed in pretrial detention. Mr. Medjnoune's father also lodged a complaint with respect to his son’s incommunicado detention, but no action followed his request. At the time of the application, Mr. Medjnoune was still detained awaiting trial.