The Syndicat des technologues d’Hydro-Québec (CUPE 957) denounces the arrest of one of its members in Algeria and wants to publicize his case to pressure the federal government into doing all it can to repatriate this Canadian citizen quickly.
“Lazhar Zouaïmia is an engaged Quebec citizen and an exemplary employee of Hydro-Québec. According to information we have received, there is every indication that his support for demands by the Algerian people in favour of establishing a democratic state of law and his denunciation of the corrupt ruling class is the real reason for his arrest,” explained union president Robert Claveau.
Lazhar Zouaïmia demonstrated regularly while in Montreal, both in person and on social media, against abuse of power in his country of origin.
“It is unacceptable that, in 2022, the fundamental rights of citizens, such as the right to demonstrate peacefully, can be violated this way. I invite Canadian government authorities to be much more proactive in cases of unjustified detention abroad,” added Claveau.
Lazhar Zouaïmia was intercepted while leaving Algeria on February 19, 2022 as he was about to fly back to Canada. He had been visiting his family for three weeks. Respect for human rights in Algeria is problematic, and the repression of militants and political opponents is unrelenting.
“We wish to add our voice to those speaking out against these arrests and abuses of human rights. We support our colleague, his wife and his family in their quest for justice,” added Francis Rondeau, the union president for the Montreal region.