A grieving families of Abdelali Mchiouer and Bilal Kissi, two Moroccan tourists tragically killed by Algerian coast guards in August, have turned to the United Nations (UN) for justice, Le360 reported.
Their urgent appeal seeks the UN’s intervention to facilitate the return of Abdelali’s body, which is still held by Algerian authorities, preventing the family from conducting proper religious rites and burying their son.
The two Moroccan men fell victim to gunfire by the Algerian navy while enjoying a jet-ski outing near the Moroccan city of Saidia, located near the Algerian maritime border.
The two victims were part of a group of four friends, including Mohamed Kissi and Ismail Snabi, who set out on a jet-ski before becoming disoriented and straying into Algerian waters.
It was in this context that Algerian coast guards opened fire on the four tourists, leading to the tragic deaths of two of them, one of whom holds French citizenship.
Ismail Snabi was arrested by Algerian coast guards, while Mohamed Kissi managed to escape and was later rescued by Moroccan coast guards.
While the body of Bilal Kissi was recovered by the Moroccan Royal Navy and laid to rest, Abdelali Mchiouer’s remains were taken by Algerian authorities and have been held at a morgue in the city of Tlemcen.
Hakim Chergui, an attorney representing the Mchiouer family, expressed their deep grief and frustration, emphasising the dual tragedy of their loss and the injustice of the prolonged wait to give Abdelali a proper burial.
“We have initiated legal proceedings for Bilal, whose body has been buried, and filed a complaint in Paris for murder, attempted murder, ship hijacking, and failure to assist a person in danger. We await the outcomes of these investigations,” Chergui said.
He continued, “The quest for truth has begun, but certain conclusions already seem to emerge, notably through the bewildering statement from the Algerian Ministry of Defence. It’s an admission of guilt regarding these events.”
Efforts to repatriate Abdelali Mchiouer’s body to Morocco have been met with frustration due to what appears to be a lack of political will from the Algerian authorities.
In response, the family has turned to international organisations for help, including reaching out to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary executions to conduct an investigation.
Mostafa Mchiouer, Abdelali’s grieving father, appealed to Algerian authorities for compassion and humanity, expressing his deep pain and longing for closure.