Photo: Sami K. / US diplomacy talks about beating up on protesters
The report mentions the failure to respect the freedoms of assembly and association, the refoulement of refugees to countries where their lives could be endangered.
Din its annual report, published this Tuesday, on the situation of human rights in the world, covering the period from 1is January to December 31, 2020, the US State Department notes human rights violations committed by the Algerian state.
The report thus cites the arbitrary detention of political prisoners, the lack of judicial independence and impartiality, unlawful interference with private life, serious restrictions on freedom of expression and of the press, including through criminal laws on defamation, arrests of journalists and blocking of news sites.
The report notes the failure to respect the freedoms of assembly and association, the refoulement of refugees to countries where their lives could be endangered, the absence of an investigation to define responsibilities in cases related to violence against women, “trafficking in persons”, the criminalization of consented sexual relations between persons of the same sex as well as significant restrictions on the freedom of association of workers and child labor.
Going into detail, the report explains that the Algerian government has taken measures to “To investigate, prosecute or punish officials who committed violations, in particular corruption, while the impunity of police and security agents remained a problem.
The government provided information on measures taken against those responsible for wrongdoing ”, states the report, which notes in the chapter on conditions of imprisonment the psychological and physical abuse reported in detention centers “Lawyers and human rights activists have expressed concern about the management of Covid-19 in prisons.”
The excessive use of the arrest warrant by the Algerian courts is raised in the report, which specifies that “The laws prohibit arbitrary arrests and detentions. But the abuse of pre-trial detention coincided with the start of the popular protest movement in February 2019 ”.
Harassment against the demonstrators
American diplomacy speaks of a relentlessness against the demonstrators. “Security forces have regularly arrested people participating in unauthorized demonstrations. Those arrested said the authorities detained them for four to eight hours before releasing them without charge ”, specifies in this context the report, which recalls that although the law prohibits arbitrary arrests and detentions, the authorities used subterfuges such as “incitement to unarmed assembly” and “contempt of body” to arrest and detain people accusing them of disturbing public order or criticizing the government.
The State Department also underlined in its report the situation of detainees and political prisoners in Algeria. He quotes the CNLD, which gives the number of “61 political prisoners associated with the hirak who were held by the authorities, among them journalists, activists, lawyers, opposition figures and hirak demonstrators”, indicates the report, which also mentions the imprisonment of Louisa Hanoune, the setbacks experienced by the late Lakhdar Bouregaa, the imprisonment of General Ali Ghediri, Rachid Nekkaz and Karim Tabbou as well as the prosecutions against Amira Bouraoui, Slimane Hamitouche and Samir Benlarbi.
The US State Department report also devotes a chapter to violations of freedoms of expression, including freedom of the press. In this context, he evokes the arrests and imprisonments of journalist Khaled Drareni, of the “hirak poet” Mohamed Tadjadit or of the activist Issam Sayeh as well as of Walid Kechida.
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