Algerian political and environmental activist Mahad Gasmi launched an open hunger strike for a week in Adrar prison, south of the country, amid rights demands for his release.
According to his attorney Saeed Zahi, Gasmi started his hunger strike on July 5 in protest of what he called the injustice imposed on him in the name of the law.
Serious concerns were raised over his health situation, especially that he was engaged in a hunger strike in the summer in an area known for its extreme heat in southern Algeria.
Gasmi, who has been in prison since 2020, is still waiting for the Supreme Court to decide on his appeal against the two sentences issued against him, in order to re-trial him.
The Algerian activist received two sentences totaling six years in prison, one of which was suspended.
Gasmi, who is considered one of the most prominent figures in the popular movement in Algeria, faces terrorism charges. He was also charged with “having access to secret information”, “offending” the President of the Republic, “offending” public institutions, and publishing false news.
Gasmi’s case stresses the need for an international and human rights intervention to put pressure on the Algerian authorities to ensure respect for his human rights and justice, an independent and transparent investigation into his detention conditions.
Preserving the rights of detainees and political and human rights activists reflects the state’s commitment to international law and international human rights standards.
The international community must cooperate for the immediate release of Gasmi and all those detained on freedom of speech charges.