I am deeply concerned about the well-being of Abdallah Benaoum. The life of the political activist is at risk as he is in urgent need of heart surgery. Abdallah Benaoum has been detained since 9 December 2019 for Facebook posts in which he criticised the contested 2019 Algerian elections and the repression of the Hirak pro-reform movement. He is currently detained in Oran prison. The judges unjustly rejected multiple requests for provisional release filed by his lawyers despite his deteriorating health.
I call on you to drop all charges against Abdallah Benaoum and ensure that he is immediately and unconditionally released as he is being detained solely for the exercise of his right to freedom of expression. In the meantime, he must be transferred without any further delay to a medical facility where he can receive the urgent medical treatment prescribed by his cardiologist. In the current context of COVID-19, his heart condition puts him at increased risk according to the World Health Organisation and the authorities must take all measures to protect his life.