Human rights defender Mr Hassan Bouras has been on hunger strike since 2 October 2015, the same day he was arrested by the Brigades de Recherche et d’Intervention (BRI).
Hassan Bouras is a leading member of the Algerian League of Human Rights. He is also a journalist and blogger who has intensively reported on corruption and the practice of torture in Algeria. He documented several testimonies on the involvement of leading generals in the Algerian army in severe human rights abuses committed in Algeria in the 1990s, during the armed conflict between the state and militant Islamists.
On 4 October 2015, the Prosecutor of the municipality of El Bayadh accused the human rights defender of ‘incitement to violence and revolt against the state’ and ‘insulting state institutions’. The investigative judge then ordered his detention pending further investigation. He was arrested on 2 October 2015 in the municipality of El Bayadh, South-west Algeria, when approximately 29 members of the Brigades de Recherche et d’Intervention (BRI) stormed his family home and detained him. They carried out an inspection of his home and seized his and his two sisters’ mobile phones and computers. Hassan Bouras is currently held in solitary confinement in Al-Hawd Prison. He is reportedly suffering from very low blood sugar levels and problems with his joints.
The human rights defender has been harassed by Algerian authorities since 2003 when he was charged with insulting state institutions, sentenced to two years in prison and banned from practising journalism for five years. In 2008, he was sentenced to two months in prison and fined a sum of 40,000 Algerian Dinar (3373 EUR) for publishing articles in the press about corruption and poverty in Algeria.
Front Line Defenders is concerned for the health of Hassan Bouras and expresses its concern at his detention and prosecution, which it believes are directly related to his legitimate work in exposing human rights abuses.