• Urgent Action


September 21, 2023

On 4 July, a court of appeal in Algiers confirmed the sentencing of Amazigh activist Slimane Bouhafs to three years in prison and a 100,000DA (around USD 734) fine. Slimane Bouhafs had been granted refugee status in Tunisia in 2020. However, this did not protect him from being kidnapped from his home in Tunis and tried on charges of terrorism for his supposed affiliations to a Kabylie independence organization in September 2021 and since held in Kolea prison, near to Algiers. Not only are the charges against Slimane Bouhafs bogus, but his entire trial is illegal under international human rights law. He must be released immediately and all charges against him dropped.


  1. Please take action as-soon-as possible. This Urgent Action expires on October 24th, 2023.
  2. Write a letter in your own words or using the sample below as a guide to one or both government officials listed. You can also email, fax, call or Tweet them.
  3. Click here to let us know the actions you took on Urgent Action 82.23. It’s important to report because we share the total number with the officials we are trying to persuade and the people we are trying to help.


President of the Republic of Algeria
Abdelmadjid Tebboune Presidence
de la republique
Place Mohammed Seddik Benyahiya, El Mouradia,
Alger 16000 Algerie
Fax: +213021691595
Email: [email protected]

Ambassador Mohammed Haneche
Embassy of the People’s
Democratic Republic of Algeria
2118 Kalorama Rd NW
Washington DC 20008
Phone: 202 265 2800 I Fax: 202 986 5906
Twitter: @Ambalgindc
Email: [email protected]


Your Excellency,

I am writing to express my extreme concern for activist Slimane Bouhafs, who remains arbitrarily detained in Kolea prison convicted of bogus charges following his kidnapping in 2021.

On 4 July, the Algiers appeals court confirmed Slimane Bouhafs’ sentence of three years imprisonment and a 100,000 DA (around USD 734) fine handed to him by the first instance court. On 7 June, the first instance court judge acquitted Slimane Bouhafs of nine charges, including “membership in a terrorist organization” (article 87 bis3) and “offense against the Prophet [of Islam]” (article 144 bis2), sentencing him only for the charge of “undermining the integrity of the national territory” (article 79). This trial followed the investigation into Slimane Bouhafs, which began on 1 September 2021, when he appeared in the First Instance Court in Sidi M’Hamed, Algiers, where an investigative judge remanded him to prison pending investigation for 10 charges under Algeria’s penal code. Slimane Bouhafs should never have been investigated or tried, as he had been granted refugee status in Tunisia since 2020. Under international human rights law, Tunisia has an obligation to protect refugees and to ensure they are not forcibly returned to a country where they face persecution.

Slimane Bouhafs was kidnapped and taken to Algeria to be tried after unidentified men forced him into a car outside his home in Tunis in August 2021. His family did not hear from him for four days, when they learned that he was being held in a police station in Algiers.
Slimane Bouhafs is currently detained in Kolea prison, 400km from where his family lives. His family are only permitted to visit him two at a time and for a maximum of 15 minutes. A round-trip to the prison takes them 10 hours and they have to rent a car as well as a hotel near the prison to make sure that they are on time. If they arrive even slightly late, they are not allowed in. His family believes he is at grave risk of abuse in Algerian prisons due to the ill-treatment he previously faced, and they are concerned for his health as he is not receiving adequate medical treatment for his gout.

I urge you to release Slimane Bouhafs immediately, drop all charges against him and allow him to leave Algeria. In the meantime, the Algerian authorities should ensure that Slimane Bouhafs is not subjected to any ill-treatment in prison.

Yours sincerely,