Geneva, Switzerland

The Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime welcomes news of the reduction in the prison sentence of our colleague Raouf Farrah by the appeals court in Constantine, Algeria. His sentence was reduced from a two-year effective term to an eight-month prison term and  12-months of probation. Given the time he served in pre-trial detention and since his conviction on 29 August, Raouf will leave prison with immediate effect.

“We are overjoyed that Raouf can finally leave prison and relieved that this ordeal is finally over and he can be re-united with his family and friends. In this next phase after his release, we will continue to support Raouf and his family and their transition back to normality,” said GI-TOC Director Mark Shaw.

Raouf was imprisoned on 20 February 2023 along with his father after being arraigned in court in the context of a series of cases linked to Amira Bouraoui, an activist and journalist wanted by the Algerian authorities, who fled to France earlier in the month.

Raouf was 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 was charged with “receiving funds for the purpose of committing acts that would disturb the public peace”.

Algerian authorities granted bail to Sebti on 13 April, a development that was confirmed in a court hearing on 4 May. Sebti was given a suspended sentence on 29 August and therefore remained free.

However, until today’s decision, Raouf had been held in detention.

The GI-TOC remains of the strong opinion that Raouf and Sebti should not have been convicted as the case brought against them has no merit. However, we welcome the conclusion of this case and look forward to having Raouf back as part of our team and supporting him in his sterling research work.