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Middle East & North Africa

Human rights defender's story: Kaddour Chouicha from Algeria

Days before facing trial on baseless charges, activist and trade union leader Kaddour Chouicha renewed his call for democracy and the independence of the judiciary in Algeria.

Kaddour Chouicha is an Algerian university professor, national coordinator of the Union of Solidary Higher Education Professors (SESS) and human rights activist. He was the vice-president of the Algerian League for the Defence of Human Rights (LADDH), which was dissolved by the State in 2022.

For his work, Algerian authorities are prosecuting him, his wife Jamila Loukil, also an activist at the LADDH, their fellow defender Said Boudour and other activists in a criminal case where they are accused of ‘enlistment in a terrorist or subversive organisation active abroad or in Algeria’. A few days before the start of his trial on these charges, which he describes as ‘baseless’, Kaddour spoke with ISHR about his struggle as a human rights activist and his hopes for the future of Algeria.

On 24 August 2022, Kaddour Chouicha was also prevented from travelling to attend the pre-session ahead of Algeria’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR), organised by UPR-info, in a clear case of reprisals against a defender attempting to cooperate with international bodies. He discussed this, as well as the dissolution of the LADDH and the accusations against him in a joint statement before the UN Human Rights Council in April 2023.

ISHR is campaigning to end reprisals against defenders like Kaddour who have been targeted for seeking to engage with international bodies. Learn more by clicking here.

Update, 5 December 2023:

On 5 December, following an official visit to Algeria, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders Mary Lawlor welcomed the announcement of the acquittal of Kaddour Chouicha, Jamila Loukil, and Said Boudour.