EU closely monitoring human rights situation in Algeria – Josep Borrell
Responding to a question from an MEP on the deteriorating human rights situation in Algeria, Borrell said that respect for fundamental freedoms and human rights is an essential component in EU-Algeria relations.
He noted in this context that the EU emphasizes in its relations with this country respect for these rights and freedoms and the importance of freedom of expression and pluralism, calling on the Algerian authorities to initiate an inclusive dialogue with all representatives of society.
MEP Gianna Gancia, in her question, challenged Borrell on “the continuation of systematic abuses against political opponents in Algeria,” recalling the call launched last March by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights urging for putting an end to “arbitrary detentions in Algeria” and for “repealing the laws violating freedom of expression and assembly.”
The Italian MEP called on the European Commission to “investigate the persistent trampling by the Algerian authorities on the fundamental rights of the Algerian people”. She also called for sanctions against the Algerian authorities responsible for the serious violations committed against the detainees of the popular Hirak movement.
In this connection, the MEP questioned Borrell on the follow-up of the successive resolutions of the European Parliament urging that Algerian authorities guarantee the protection of human rights and freedoms.
The question to the EU High Representative for Foreign Policy was posed before the sad and sinister Friday (May 14) in Algeria that was marked by an unprecedented massive crackdown on Hirak protesters.
Local media commented that May 14 was the most violent day since the advent of Hirak on February 22, 2019 and that more than 900 violent arrests have been reported and deplored across more than 23 wilayas, according to a provisional assessment.
This day marked an unprecedented event in Algeria where the regime has decided to harden its “war” against a completely peaceful popular protest movement, democracy activists say, adding that Algerian journalists and correspondents of international press agencies were among the lot of those violently arrested.
Authorities also targeted independent and foreign media to prevent reporters from covering the protests.