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6 Feb 2017


Algeria: Union federation calls on government to drop charges against whistle-blower at Sonelgaz

Algerian union leader gets jail sentence for whistleblowing, 2 February 2017

IndustriALL Global Union is calling on the Algerian government to drop charges against a union leader sentenced to six months in jail after revealing corruption at the state-owned energy company Sonelgaz. Mellal Raouf, who is President of IndustriALL affiliate the electricity and gas workers’ union SNATEGS, was sentenced in absentia to six months in prison for the theft of supposedly confidential documents that were already in the public domain and published on the internet. The documents exposed the illegal inflation of electricity bills by Sonelgaz over a ten-year period…Instead of punishing those responsible for the corruption, Sonelgaz, which is 100 per cent owned by the government, retaliated by bringing the charges against Raouf at a tribunal in Guelma in northeastern Algeria. Raouf, who is not yet in prison, can appeal the tribunal’s verdict, made on 15 December 2016…IndustriALL’s general secretary, Valter Sanches, said: “The government should be applauding Mellal Raouf for exposing years of corruption at Sonelgaz, rather than persecuting him. This verdict is entirely unjust and serves as a green light for corruption.”