London – Today the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) declared Kamel Daoudi’s application for release from indefinite house arrest inadmissible for failure to exhaust domestic remedies. The ruling refused to acknowledge an over two decade persecution by the French state against Daoudi.
Daoudi’s plight began in 2001 when he was arrested in connection with the case of Djamel Beghal. He was convicted in a case that featured confessions extracted under torture of ‘criminal association in relation to a terrorist undertaking’, a vague charge widely criticised by human rights organisations. During his seven year imprisonment, Daoudi was subjected to repeated harassment and abuse by French authorities. His Qur’an was desecrated, cigarette ashes were put on his food, he was forced to endure frozen showers in winter, walks were cancelled without reason.
In 2008, an ECHR ruling prevented his deportation to Algeria on the grounds he would be tortured and abused. Despite the ruling, Daoudi entered legal no-man’s land with both his presence in France and attempted deportation to Algeria deemed illegal. As a result, he was placed under indefinite house arrest by French authorities .
The conditions Daoudi has endured under his house arrest have been severely paralysing. He has to sign in at the local police station multiple times a day. A delay, let alone a failure, in providing his signature would result in his rearrest. In 2010, he was sentenced to 6 months in prison for having missed a signature as he was driving his pregnant wife to give birth at a clinic..
Daoudi’s family cannot live with him and as a result he is only allowed to see them intermittently. This oppressive regime has caused devastating psychological effects for Daoudi, who has described life under house arrest as being “without a goal or perspective.”
Rayan Freschi – a legal jurist and France based researcher for CAGE said:
“The ECHR has once again demonstrated its inability to uphold due process and protect the rights of minorities and demonised groups. Only time will prove if France will ease or lift Kamel Daoudi’s house arrest regime.”
“This ruling is shrouded in legal jargon, but it effectively rubber stamps a draconian house arrest regime and fails to hold the French state to account. Kamel Daoudi’s absurd nightmare continues unimpeded, as he remains stuck in a legal limbo denied his most basic fundamental rights.”
Kamel Daoudi, speaking to CAGE said:
“After 15 years under house arrest and such a difficult existence for myself and my family, from whom I have been separated for more than 6 years, the Court says I failed to exhaust all domestic remedies. I must now wait 5 years until the next potential decision of the Court. I find it unbelievable that the French State will ease the conditions of my house arrest and that it will introduce new constitutional standards for the house arrest regime. This decision ends what little hope my family and I still had.”
(NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.)