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French police arrested Dr Mourad Dhina yesterday at Paris-Orly airport at the request of the Algerian authorities.
Dhina, Executive Director of Swiss-based Arab human rights NGO Alkarama, was in Paris attenting a board meeting of Rachad, an Algerian political opposition movement, of which Dhina is a founding member.
Rachad seeks the peaceful establishment of good governance in Algeria.
Dhina is set to meet the Paris Attorney-General this afternoon to hear the official request by the Algerian authorities for his extradition.
"Dr Mourad Dhina's arrest, at the request of the Algerian authorities, is of purely political nature," said Rachid Mesli, Alkarama's Legal Director "and his extradition would consitute a serious violation by the French authorities of the Convention Against Torture and the European Convention on Human Rights."
Father of six and a resident in Switzerland, Dhina earned his PhD in Physics from the Massachuetts Insititute of Technology (MIT) in the 1980s. He is a former professor of physics at Zurich's Swiss Federal Institue of Technology and worked as a theoretical physicist at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland.
Alkarama has sent appeals to the UN human rights special procedures condemning the arbitrary nature of Dr Dhina's arrest and requests his immediate release.