Their arrests and disappearances took place in the aftermath of an armed conflict caused by the State coup during January 1992, which saw the widespread and systematic practice of arbitrary arrests and disappearances.
According to sources, between 1992 and 1998, 8000 to 20,000 people have been arrested or abducted by Algerian security services; as well as by militias hired by the government.
Mr Tahar Bourefis, born in 1936 and father of ten, was an official at the Ministry of Religious Affairs before his disappearance. He was a teacher as well as imam at the al-Islah mosque in the town of Kaous, Jijel. He lived in the town of Emir Abdelkader, located in the same province.
He was arrested on 23 August 1996 at 2am by soldiers who forcibly entered his home. Twenty other people were arrested during the same operation led by the commander Salah Lebbah known under the pseudonym "Belbah", commander of the operational area of Jijel. All were transported in a car commandeered a villager to the military operational sector in Jijel and are now officially disappeared - save two victims released four months later.
Bashir Bourefis, born in 1954 and father of 7 children, was a businessman. Following a summons, he went to the headquarters of the Emir Abdelkader gendarmerie, under the commanded of Chief-Officer Said Gueham. He arrived there at 2pm on 22 December 1996, with his wife and his son - he never reappeared.
Bashir Bourefis was first arrested by soldiers in early August at his home. He was then transferred to the military operational headquarters at Jijel, where he was held incommunicado and severely tortured for two months.
Tahar and Bashir Bourefis have been missing for 3 years and those responsible are known to have committed numerous crimes against the local population - they remain unmolested.
Since the promulgation in 2006 of the order for implementing the Charter for Peace and National Reconciliation, not a single complaint is admissible to the competent judicial authority in such cases, which is violation of international conventions ratified by Algeria.
In addition to this, the Bourefis family has made countless administrative and judicial efforts to know the whereabouts of their two loved ones - the Public Prosecutor for Algeria decided to drop the family's complaint, explicitly motivated by Article 45 of the Ordinance.
The family of two missing persons has exausted all legal remedies available to them. None of their approaches were successful and that the complaints filed in Algeria have now all been terminated.
Faced with this situation of lawlessness, Alkarama has asked the Human Rights Committee to conclude that the disappearances of Tahar and Bashir Bourefis violate the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights ratified by Algeria in 1989.
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