Kamel Daoudi’s wife has begun a hunger and thirst strike beginning today (18th September) to protest the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) decision to reject Mr. Daoudi’s application for release from indefinite house. 

Here is her statement in full:

“All we want is to live together, as a family, in peace”

At 10am today, Monday 18 September, despite my disapproval, my wife decided to go on a hunger and thirst strike. Here are the reasons for her action:

“It’s a carefully considered decision that I’ve matured since my husband lodged an application with the ECHR in 2018 concerning the compliance of his house arrest with several articles of the European Convention on Human Rights. 

On 14 September 2023, the Court rejected my husband’s application. This decision by the ECHR is not only disappointing, it is humiliating. What the ruling says is no one sees themselves fit to rule on our situation. The term “non-exhaustion of domestic remedies” makes the French government face up to its responsibilities to this situation of its own making. We mustn’t forget that it was the French authorities who put us in this Kafkaesque situation, where my husband is banned from French territory and also cannot be deported. He is placed under house arrest two and a half hours away from the family’s home.

For fifteen years, I have fought to ensure that my family can live as normally as possible, despite the deleterious conditions of house arrest. Seeing my husband (who lives several hundred kilometres away) only during school holidays in tiny hotel rooms, explaining to my children about their father’s imprisonment for being a few minutes late for one of his multiple daily check-ins; suffering persecution from enraged neighbours and teachers; being threatened by my employer with compulsory leave; having my reputation destroyed by the conspicuous presence of officers outside of my home for two and a half months; supporting my spouse, who is prevented from working; going to all the summons and important hearings to justify myself and show my credentials; suffering the suspicious looks of all those who believe that public order is threatened by my husband. Here’s a non-exhaustive list of all the things my family had to go through as a result of the pressure put on Kamel.

We only asked for one small thing, which nobody would notice because it is so basic and obvious: to live together, as a family, in peace. 

On the other side of the argument, dozens of briefs and judgments have mounted up, hundreds of lawyers and court clerks, and several ministers have joined forces for years, with a single purpose in mind: preventing us from that one little thing: living together, as a family, in peace. What can I tell my children? That their father has been convicted, that he has served his sentence but that some people – we don’t really know who – have decided in the dark and without debate that this sentence would be indefinite, that there would be no salvation for him.  Do I have to explain to them that the whole world considers us insane when we are actually sane?  In any case, it is impossible for me to explain to them that I am accepting an injustice of which they are the first victims. 

All I can do is ask them to trust me, reassure them and tell them that I’m going to fight, that we’re going to fight.

This hunger and thirst strike culminate fifteen long years of struggle. It is not an act of desperation, but an act of resistance in the footsteps of my ancestors, to show the whole world that I am determined to maintain the family ties we have built despite the arbitrariness of the French state”.

(NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.)