Demonstrating on behalf of “the disappeared” and despite police presence, approximately 30 relatives of missing persons successfully staged a public protest Aug. 30 on Boulevard Colonel Bougara near National Human Rights Council (CNDH) headquarters in Algiers.
Rallying for transparency and fairness, members of The National Coordination of the Families of the Disappeared (CNFD) waved banners and vocalized pleas for justice for the thousands of individuals gone missing during the “black decade” to mark the occasion of the International Day of Victims of Enforced Disappearance.
Protesters chanted and walked for more than 90 minutes, carrying signs with slogans ranging from "Power Murderer" and “Our children are not for sale” to “False Communes, International Justice.” CNFD spokesperson Ouassila Belatreche explained that her organization previously wrote to CNDH asking its president, Judge Benzerrouki Fafa, for answers but “received no response.”
Family members of missing individuals have lodged formal complaints since 2002: among them a Mrs. Saker, the wife of a mathematics professor missing since 1994 whose inquiries made her a subject of prosecution herself; and a Mrs. Aribi, whose son disappeared in 1993 just shy of age 18, “arrested by the Republican Guard.”
Surviving relatives are caught in limbo. Without proof of death or burial, they are unable to experience closure.
"Our only remedy for an equitable solution to our cause remains justice and UN organizations," CNFD officials said.