In solidarity with the Arab Committee for Human Rights in Paris

In solidarity with the Arab Committee for Human Rights in Paris

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information expresses its deep resentment and anger at the recommendation to suspend the consultative status of the Arabic Committee for Human Rights from the advisory council for a year because the organization”s representative for the last term was “a dangerous terrorist”. In fact he is an Algerian human rights activist who has the right of asylum in Switzerland.

The committee for NGOs which is affiliated to the United Nations Economic and Social Council last met in New York on 28th January. After the meeting it was recommended that membership of the Arab Commission for Human Rights should be suspended for one year based on a demand from the permanent Algerian delegation to the United Nations. The recommendation was supported by Egypt, Sudan and Qatar who voted with Israeli.

The Algerian complaint is based upon the fact that Rashid Misali was the permanent representative of the committee in Geneva in front of the council for human rights during the session of 10th June 2008. Mr. Misali occupies the position of the legal chief of Al-Karamah, a human rights NGO based in Geneva.

Algerian authorities allege Misali is wanted for association with a banned terrorist group, according to a memo from Interpol and therefore should not be able to appear at the human rights council. Misali is an Algerian lawyer who was granted political asylum in Switzerland in accordance with requirements of UNHCR, 1951.

For the last eight years, he has lived a decent and respectable life with his family in Geneva. He has continued his legal work for human rights in Switzerland, working for world-famous organizations including Amnesty International. He worked on cases of unfair imprisonment for the organization TRIAL amongst others, and wrote many articles for the United Nations.

ANHRI calls upon the committee for NGOs affiliated to the Economic and Social Council not to accept the recommendation targeting the Arabic Committee for Human Rights and not to accept these claims which are designed only to attack human rights organizations in the Arab world generally, and especially Algeria which had previously submitted a request to remove the advisory character from NGOs like Amnesty international in 1997.