Algeria / Human rights activist dies following arbitrary incarceration

3 mins read
Kamel Eddine Fekhar

Political activist and human rights defender Dr. Kameleddine Fekhar died Tuesday in Blida hospital (Algeria), said his lawyer, Salah Dabouz.

I received information. Dr. Kameleddine Fekhar died this morning at the Frantz Fanon hospital in Blida, following the criminal negligence he suffered at Ghardaia hospital“, stated Dabouz on his Facebook page. The lawyer also referred to his hospital room as being in the state of a “rubbish dump”, and alleged that the negligent treatment he received at the hospital was intentional.

Fekhar was urgently evacuated yesterday to the hospital of Blida where he gave up this morning, his lawyer added.

As a reminder, Dr. Fekhar was remanded on the 1st of March. He has been on a hunger strike for more than 50 days. According to his lawyer, the activist was arrested for publishing a video on facebook which was critical of the regime.

In 2004, Dr. Fekhar was arrested on fabricated charges, in 2015 he was arrested on the same bogus charges again and subsequently had to spend 2 years in jail, one of which was in solitary confinement.

According to journalist Djamal Alilalt who met him in 2013, Kameleddine Fekhar defined himself as an independent journalist, activist for democracy and for human rights. His fight revolved around three main axis: development, citizenship and identity. “We are triply harmed: as an Ibadi community, as Amazighs and as citizens“, said the doctor from Ghardaia Hospital, who was suspended from his work in 2004 because of his political activism. 

Alilat and Fekhar
Djamal Alilalt (left) and Dr. Kameleddine Fekhar

For Dr. Kameleddine Fekhar, the Mozabites are a religious minority that must be protected in Algeria. 

His political activism both within the FFS and as a defender of human rights resulted in several arrests over the years, the last of which has just cost him life. 

The authorities have remained deaf to the various alerts of human rights defenders in Algeria who have constantly alerted the public to the deteriorating health of Kameleddine Fekhar following the hunger strike he has begun since several weeks.

Since his arrest, no credible charges against him could be determined, with human rights activists and his lawyer suggesting an obstinacy by the governor of Ghardaia to have him held and mistreated with the complicity of the region’s public prosecutor.

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