Djamel Ktiti, a French national, was the subject of an INTERPOL international wanted persons alert (Red Notice) at the request of Algerian authorities in 2009. They accused him of being part of a trafficking ring.
As a result, all of INTERPOL ’s 190 member countries received a request to assist in the arrest and extradition to Algeria of Djamel.
Djamel was arrested twice on the basis of INTERPOL’s Red Notice: first in Morocco, where he was detained for more than two years, from 2009 to 2011. Then later he was arrested in Spain, where he was imprisoned for nearly six months in 2013 after visiting on holiday.
“I spent more than three years in detention in fear that I could be extradited at any time to a country where I ran a very real risk of being tortured.” – Djamel Ktiti.
On both instances, Morocco and Spain refused to extradite Djamel to Algeria, to avoid being in violation of the United Nations Convention against Torture (UNCAT).
The United Nations Committee Against Torture (CAT) decided in 2011 that Djamel’s extradition to Algeria would violate UNCAT as there is an unacceptably high risk of torture if Djamel returned to Algeria.
The Committee noted that the family of another suspect who had been savagely tortured including by being electrocuted, beaten, sodomised with a bottle and forced to swallow water in an attempt to drown him, was forced to confess and name his accomplices, and had implicated Djamel as an accomplice to drug trafficking.
ACTION FOR JUSTICE
In their submission, REDRESS and Fair Trials argued that the Red Notice in this case could not serve its purpose as a tool for international cooperation as the UN Committee Against Torture’s decision confirmed that it could not be used lawfully by INTERPOL’s member countries.
On 7 December 2015, INTERPOL agreed to delete from its files the Red Notice against Djamel.
“Today I feel relieved that INTERPOL has stated very clearly that it will not support Algeria’s request for my arrest and that I can travel without having to fear arrest, detention and extradition every time I cross a border.” – Djamel Ktiti.
- Case Name: Application to INTERPOL in the case of Djamel Ktiti
- Court/Body: INTERPOL
- Date Filed: 26 January 2015
- Current Status: Decision reached
- Legal representation: REDRESS and Fair Trials
The United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT – commonly known as the United Nations Convention against Torture) is an international human rights treaty that focuses on states’ obligations to prevent, prohibit and afford reparation for torture and other acts of cruel, inhuman, degrading treatment or punishment around the world.
INTERPOL’s Red Notice is a request to locate and provisionally arrest an individual pending extradition. It is issued by INTERPOL’s General Secretariat at the request of a member country or an international tribunal based on a national arrest warrant.