The charges brought against Senior Analyst Raouf Farrah and his father, Sebti Farrah, by Algerian authorities are without basis, the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime (GI-TOC) said.

Raouf and his 67-year-old father were arraigned in court in an overnight hearing in Constantine, Algeria, between 19 and 20 February, alongside seven other defendants. The arraignments come in the context of the case of Amira Bouraoui, an activist and journalist wanted by the Algerian authorities, who fled to France earlier this month. At the hearing they were both remanded in custody.

Raouf stands charged with “spreading information and documents that are classified as secret” and the crime of “receiving funds for the purpose of committing acts that would disturb the public peace”. His father is charged with “receiving funds for the purpose of committing acts that would disturb the public peace”.

The GI-TOC finds these charges completely without basis. Raouf is an internationally recognised researcher whose work is distributed transparently in the public domain for the benefit of researchers, the media, civil society and governments, not least the Algerian authorities themselves, should they wish to take advantage of the insight of his analysis.

“There is nothing classified or harmful to the Algerian state in the research work published by Raouf, nor can it be deemed to violate public order. On the contrary, his goal and ours is to provide granular and meticulously researched assessments and policy recommendations that contribute to the fight against organized crime, and the alleviation of its harms on individuals, communities and states,” said GI-TOC Director Mark Shaw.

“We stand behind these goals even more so as we commit to support Raouf and Sebti in the battle to clear their names. We will do this, and support their family, for as long as it takes,” Shaw said.

The Global Initiative is headquartered in Geneva with registered offices in Cape Town and Vienna where it holds Quasi-International Organisation status.