CAT/C/55/D/494/2012

Court to draw his attention to the legal steps taken since January 2011 and obtain
information on his complaint. The Prosecutor made it clear to him that his complaint would
never be considered, y telling him: “Take my advice, imagine that it was only a dream.
I cannot do anything for you, since this is about military security”.
2.9
The complainant made a final appeal to the Public Prosecutor by registered letter
with an acknowledgement of receipt, dated 28 January 2012, 4 to ask him to launch an
investigation. To date, no action has been taken on any of the complainant’s requests. The
complainant considers, therefore, that he is not bound under article 22 (5) (b) of the
Convention to exhaust other remedies, as all those already pursued have turned out to be
unavailable, ineffective and unreasonably prolonged.
The complaint
3.1
The complainant claims to be the victim of torture within the meaning of article 1 of
the Convention. As regards severe physical and mental pain and suffering, the complainant
has unquestionably been subjected to extremely serious ill-treatment. He was brutally
beaten with blows to the face and buttocks — treatment which, in any case, has been
categorized as torture by the Committee. 5 The complainant was also subjected to the use of
a cloth soaked with water, soap and other cleaning agents and was compelled to crawl on a
wet floor, causing injury to his knees. For several days, he was kept handcuffed, lying on
his back, naked and suffering from the cold. The treatment left marks that were still visible
months later, as a video that the complainant posted on an Internet site attests. This was
compounded by constant abuse and humiliation, such as being made to eat human
excrement — acts which in themselves constitute a form of torture. The complainant’s
statements about torture are supported by the medical certificate dated 18 January 2011.
3.2
The complainant adds that such torture was inflicted intentionally for the purpose of
obtaining a confession and putting pressure on him for personal gain, namely, extortion to
acquire a vehicle. The suffering was inflicted on him by members of the Intelligence and
Security Department, who are public officials. Every element of torture has thus been
established, thereby constituting a violation of article 1 of the Convention by the State party
with respect to him.
3.3
In the alternative, the complainant claims that the acts committed constitute at the
very least a violation of article 16 of the Convention.
3.4
The complainant also claims a violation of his rights under article 2 (1), to be read in
conjunction with article 1 of the Convention, by virtue of the fact that the State party
neglected its duty to prevent (Algerian law does not contain any provision to prohibit the
use of confessions or statements extracted under torture as evidence) and to punish acts of
torture (a number of crimes of torture have reportedly gone unpunished since 1992).
3.5
The complainant states that article 11 of the Convention was violated because the
State party has not fulfilled the requirement to keep under systematic review methods and
practices used during interrogations. Algerian law does not provide for adequate safeguards
for the protection of persons in detention. Article 51 of the Code of Criminal Procedure
provides for the possibility of extending police custody for up to 12 days, a particularly
excessive period that, in practice, is often further extended. Moreover, the right of persons
in custody to counsel is not guaranteed under the national law, nor does any legal provision

4
5

4

A copy of the complaint to the public prosecutor is annexed to the complaint before the Committee.
See, inter alia, communications No. 207/2002, Dragan Dimitrijevic v. Serbia and Montenegro,
decision adopted 24 November 2004, para. 5.3; and No. 269/2005, Ben Salem v. Tunisia, decision
adopted 7 November 2007, para. 16.4.

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