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Algeria: The support committee for the women workers of ENTV Channel 4

Wednesday 3 October 2012, by siawi3

Communiqué Number 1

Source : Djazairouna, October 1, 2012

Three women working for ENTV channel 4, of the Algerian National Television Network, brought a complaint in August 2011 against the station’s director for sexual harassment.

The trial which was set for June 24, 2012 was delayed until September 16, 2012, and then again until September 30, 2012.

The trial took place in the presence of the parties this Sunday from 11 AM to 2:30 PM during a public session at the Abane Ramdane courthouse in Algiers, Algeria.

Many women’s groups, trade unions, human rights groups, women veterans of the war of independence and individuals came to express their support.

A collective of lawyers joined the plaintiff’s lawyers, including Dilem Youcef, Meslem Mounia, Amina Abdelatif for the LADDH [Algerian League of Human Rights], Benissad Nourredine, Salah Debouze and Abdehamid Aissani.

The plaintiffs’ statements, the courageous testimony of numerous colleagues, and the forceful pleadings of the lawyers’ collective, cut the defense to pieces, to the point where the accused lost his arrogance.

The witnesses testified of a pattern of practices by their immediate superior, including familiarities, forced accolades, inappropriate touching, indecent proposals, coercion and retaliatory measures.

After the pleadings of the lawyers, the woman prosecutor requested a sentence of one year’s imprisonment and a fine of 50,000 DA (Algerian Dinars) [approximately $625 U.S.] in accordance with Article 341 bis of the penal code.

The judge, a woman, will announce her verdict on October 14th.

Thanks to the courage of the three complainants, and their determination during these last 18 difficult months, decisive steps have been taken in this case.

The appearance of the aggressor in a public session recognizes sexual harassment as an attack on the dignity of the human person and not as a private matter of affront to decency.

This trial of a harasser in application of article 341bis, which is a product of our struggles, gives a positive signal to all who experience this violence.

The prosecutor’s request for both a prison sentence to be served, as well as a fine, is already a moral victory for the women workers of Channel 4.

The support committee warmly salutes all those women and men who showed their solidarity by their presence at the hearing or through their messages of support.

The committee calls on supporters of the plaintiffs to maintain their mobilization!

Against sexual harassment!

For the right to work of women in respect and dignity!

The support committee for the women workers of ENTV Channel 4

Soumia Salhi, National Commission of Women Workers/UGTA (General Union of Algerian Workers)

Dalila Djerbal, Réseau wassila (Wassila network)

Saida Kordjani, Association for the emancipation of women

Lynda Bouadma, Women in communication

Ourida Chouaki, Tharwa Fadhma Nsoumer

Cherifa Kheddar, Observatoire des Violences Faites aux Femmes (Observatory on Violence against Women)