Former Algerian soldier and activist Mohamed Benhlima was sentenced to death in his country after he was denied international protection in Spain and deported at the end of March. The news was announced by Benlima’s mother and confirmed by the Legal Network of Lawyers and this newspaper.
In 2019, Benlima posted a series of videos online exposing corruption among high-ranking army officials. He also participated in the Hirak protest movement calling for reform of the political system. At that time, he was informed that his name was on the military wanted list, and he fled to Spain, where he applied for asylum.
The Ministry of the Interior refused to grant him international asylum on re-examination of his application, which was confirmed by his legal team at the time. As in the case of his compatriot Mohamed Abdellah, who was deported from the CCA in Barcelona, the activist and former soldier was handed over to the Algerian authorities. Amnesty International and the CIE campaign did not consider that there was a risk that Benhlima would be tortured in a military prison.
“More than a month ago, the Spanish authorities promptly brought asylum seeker Mohamed Benhalima to Algiers without following the expulsion procedure. We will do everything possible (even a little more) to put an end to this political and police practice. We will demand all duties, including criminal ones, that correspond to the Police and the Ministry of the Interior, ”the Legal Lawyers Network Twitter profile says.
Video with “clean up”
Two days before being expelled from Spain, a young man sent his relatives and members of the “CIEs No” campaign accompanying the activist a video recorded at the Internment Center for Foreigners (CIE) in Valencia saying: “If I appear on Algerian television making false statements , as if I were a terrorist, know that it was beyond my reach and that I was subjected to the most terrible tortures, both mental and physical, in the centers of the Algerian secret and information services. The “pull-in” video was shown on 28 March by the Algerian authorities on Ennahar TV, a private television.
“He was forced to completely retract his position on the work he had done over the past three years in the Hirak movement,” a member of his international legal team said at the time.
We will do everything possible (even a little more) to put an end to this political and police practice. We will demand all liability measures, including criminal ones, that comply with @policia and @interiorgob #UnBenhalima NuncaMas https://t.co/xq005gAOtz
— Legal Network of Lawyers (@laredjuridica) May 12, 2022
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