Algeria: International NGOs concerned over worrying situation of civil society, call on authorities to end generalized repression
On the fourth anniversary of Algeria’s pro-democracy protest movement, known as the Hirak, human rights watchdogs rang the alarm again, saying the situation of human rights in the North African country is under serious threat. The pattern toward a more authoritarian, less competitive regime is clear as authorities are intensifying repression against civil society organizations, human rights defenders, and opposition figures.
In this connection, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (OMCT) said the situation of Algerian civil society is more than ever worrying because of the constant efforts made by Algerian authorities to silence all the last dissenting voices in the country. They called on Algerian authorities to put an end to the generalized repression and the continued harassment of civil society organizations and human rights defenders.
This call was launched at a press conference organized by human rights organizations on February 21 in Paris, on the occasion of the fourth anniversary of Hirak.
From the beginning of the uprising until today, and “despite its peaceful nature, the movement was harshly repressed by the Algerian authorities,” said the FIDH.
“Thousands of demonstrators, and among them human rights defenders, activists, lawyers and journalists covering the demonstrations have been arbitrarily questioned, arrested, detained.”
For Patrick Baudouin, lawyer and honorary president of FIDH and president of the League of Human Rights (LDH), the attitude of the Algerian government leads to a “both terribly degraded and very worrying” situation.
“This is really a situation that concerns us a lot and for which it is essential that civil societies, human rights movements, but also the international community try to use the maximum means of pressure on Algerian authorities to put an end to this relentlessness in suppressing all essential freedoms of expression and for a confiscation of the country’s power and economic interests in the hands of a few to the detriment of the Algerian people,” said Patrick Baudouin.
The NGOs and human rights activists participating in the news conference called on the international community to counter repression in Algeria, by using the maximum means of pressure on Algerian authorities, and condemned the recent dissolution of the Algerian League for the Defense of Human Rights (LADDH) that followed the various waves of arrests of activists.