URGENT ALERT: France – Persecution of Muslims continues

URGENT ALERT: France – Persecution of Muslims continues

PO Box 598, Wembley, London, UK, HA0 4XX

4 September, 1998

The trial of 140 Muslims, accused of providing weapons and funds for ‘rebels’ in Algeria, began on Tuesday 1 September. The cases were heard in a specially converted prison gymnasium outside Paris, because the Palace of Justice was not big enough to accommodate them.

Human rights activists, and the 138 defence lawyers representing the men are extremely concerned at what they see as the French regime persecuting opponents to Algeria’s military junta, at their request. The defence lawyers walked out of the trial by the end of the first day, calling it disgraceful and a masquerade.

IHRC is calling on campaigners to write to the President and the Prime Minister of France and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson protesting that:

1. These trials breach the civil liberties of the defendants. They have been charged without proper evidence, and upon hearsay.
2. These trials are politically motivated. They are obviously an attempt to assist the Algerian junta in its crackdown on opposition.

M. Jacques Chirac
President de la Republique
Palais de l`Elysee
55 et 57, rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore
75008 Paris
phone 331-42-92-81-00, fax 331-47-42-24-65
e-mail page http://www.elysee.fr/mel/mel_.htm

Lionel Jospin
Prime Minister
57 rue de Varenne
75700 Paris
e-mail webpage http://www.premier-ministre.gouv.fr/PM/MAIL.HTM

Mrs. Mary Robinson, United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights
Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

Fax: (+4122) 9170092
e-mail: webadmin.hchr@unog.ch

Please let IHRC know of your answers.[END]