ALGERIA “For the Release of All the Political Prisoners”    Interview with Salah Dabouz, lawyer

Salah Dabouz, the lawyer who defended Kamel Eddine Fekhar (who died in jail on 28 Mayafter over fifty days of hunger strike), spoke on 14 June, in Audin Square, before several hundred people who had come to attend an open-air rally against repression and for the release of those jailed for their opinions and for democratic freedoms. He was interviewed by Minbar El Oummel

The international campaign goes on
In the Spanish State, many activists and organisation have backed the appeal by 51 labour activists of the United States“for the release of all the political prisoners in Algeria ». We cite notably the trade unions ELA-ESK-LAB-UGT of the Bilbao underground (Basque Country), le Bizkaia M15M collective, the eighth national assembly of Goldatu (the association of Basque prisoners and repressed during the Francoist dictatorship) and twenty political and trade union activists of all affiliations.

Why have you contributed to the creation of a “network against repression, for the release of those jailed for their opinions and for democratic freedoms*”? 

As you have noted, activist forces have dispersed rather than unite when it was necessary to unite in order to fight more effectively. I did indeed say at the rally for the release of Louisa Hanoune that we needed to broaden the fight to the other prisoners and to unite. When your comrade proposed to me to take part in the united fight, I did not hesitate. I’m not a case lawyer, but a lawyer for the cause of freedoms. 

Few people know that you were arrested and that you are under judicial control? 

It was at the beginning of the revolution. I was arrested in a restaurant near my law firm. I was taken to the town of Ghardaïa, 700 kilometres from Algiers. It was at the demand of the attorney general, who was trying to implicate me in my clients’ case. I was released thanks to the reaction of my colleagues, but I am under judicial control, and under the obligation to go to Ghardaïa twice a week. This undermines my work as a defender. 

In your speech, you said that is was necessary“to help the regime to leave ». What message did you mean to be sending? 

The hirak (popular movement – editor’s note) does not trust the regime. How can you explain that a man was left to die with nothing being held against him except his opinions? A man can still die for his ideas in 2019? The new Algeria will be built once we have helped the regime out the door.  

Interview by Chafik Amara for Minbar El Oummel 

* The network, created by activists for democratic rights and political activists of various affiliations, (PT, PST, MDS, COSI), has decided to call for another rally on Friday 21 June, Square Maurice-Audin in Algiers.