Abdelkader Mohamed was born in 1961 in Algeria. After immigrating to France, he became a French citizen and lived near Nîmes until 1994, when his father asked him to return to Algeria to join a self-defence group (GLD) in the province of Relizane. In March 1998, after a group of twelve militia members, which included his father, was arrested, Abdelkader, and his brother, Hocine returned to France.
In the 1990s Algeria was in the throes of a very violent civil war between the security services, the State-armed militia and the armed Islamic groups. From 1993, and especially from 1994, the Algerian authorities began arming citizens in provinces with a strong presence of armed Islamic groups, in order to put them to the fight against terrorism.
These militias were known as “Patriotes”, or “Self-Defence Groups”. In January 1997, these militia groups were publicly acknowledged by decree and officially titled “Self-Defence Groups” («Groupes de Légitime Défense» [GLD]). Supervision of these groups was assigned to an operative sector for the fight against subversive elements. In January 1998, the Algerian Prime Minister informed Parliament of the existence of 5’000 such groups in the country.
According to the Fédération internationale des droits de l’homme (FIDH), the GLD in Relizane, led by the Mohamed brothers, is said to be responsible for more than one hundred cases of extrajudicial executions and 208 cases of enforced disappearances committed between 1994 and 1998 in the province of Relizane. Mass graves were discover in Relizane in 1998.
It is alleged that the militias, together with the military security service and the police, systematically tortured anyone they arrested in order to extort information about “terrorist groups”, before they were made to disappear.
Abdelkader Mohamed as a member of a GLD was said to have been involved in the enforced disappearance and the extrajudicial execution of alleged terrorists.