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Algeria: two men imprisoned for homosexuality, an NGO is mobilized

“Homosexual relations” as a charge. Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Thursday called on the Algerian authorities to release “immediately” two young men imprisoned for homosexuality and to end the prosecution of all those convicted in the same case, that is 44 people in total.

On September 3, an Algerian court sentenced the two men to three years in prison and the other 42 people to a one-year suspended sentence following arrests at a private rally that police called a “marriage.” homosexual “, HRW specifies in a statement published in Beirut.

“Arbitrary arrests”

The group of 35 men and nine women, mostly students according to the NGO, were arrested in El Khroub, near Constantine, in the northeast of the country, during the period of medical confinement. “Breaking quarantine and social distancing measures to attend a social gathering does not justify arbitrary arrests and prolonged preventive detention,” said HRW.

All were convicted of “homosexual relations”, “public indecency” and for “causing harm to others by violating quarantine measures linked to Covid-19 disease “, According to the NGO.

The Algerian authorities “should quash the charges and release them immediately,” says the NGO. “The Algerian authorities’ attack on individual freedoms is nothing new, but the arrest of dozens of students on the basis of their alleged sexual orientation is a flagrant violation of their fundamental rights,” denounces Rasha Younes, a HRW analyst, in the statement.

The date of the appeal trial is not known. Only a few private Algerian media reported on this affair. In Algeria, homosexual “acts” are punishable by two years in prison.

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