In a letter to Josep Borrell, the EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, MEPs "demand immediate action"

MEPs condemn human rights crisis in Algeria

Parlamento Europeo - PHOTO/PIXABAY
photo_camera PHOTO/FILE - European Parliament

MEPs from different political groups sent a letter to Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, in which they "strongly and roundly" condemn the repressive tactics used by the Algerian regime led by Abdelmadjid Tebboune. They highlight the systematic elimination of freedom of expression of the press, peaceful assembly and association. 

Parliamentarians from all walks of life considered the situation of the Algerian people as a "severe human rights crisis". The text highlights clear violations of civil liberties, paying special attention to incidents such as the dissolution of more than 20 human rights organisations, the closure of several independent media and the unjust arrests of journalists and political activists. 

PHOTO/ARCHIVO - Josep Borrell, Alta Representante de la Unión Europea para Asuntos Exteriores y Política de Seguridad desde 2019
PHOTO/ARCHIVO - Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy as of 2019

The letter follows more than five initiatives taken by the European Parliament this year, including discussions in the human rights subcommittee and a strong condemnation resolution published in May expressing concern about the deterioration of human rights in Algeria, he stressed. 

"We are particularly concerned about a further deepening of repression in Algeria, given the September visit of UN Special Rapporteur Clement Nyalecossi Voule, where requests by the authorities to ease restrictions on civil society organisations appear to have been ignored," the letter reads. Some parliamentarians believe that, instead of implementing these recommendations, the regime has ignored them by intensifying its attacks on the fundamental rights of the Algerian population. 

protestas-mujeres-argelia

MEPs explicitly condemn Algeria's violation of the principles of the EU-Algeria Community Agreement, which emphasises respect for human rights. Strict measures are being taken against leading figures in the "Hirak", the popular protest movement that blocked the candidacy of former President Bouteflika. 

A year before the presidential elections, one of the most high-profile cases is that of Karim Tabbou, one of Algeria's most powerful opposition figures, who has become the target of a new campaign of intimidation after receiving widespread threats from the judiciary and the police. 

SPUTNIK/MIKHAIL METZEL - El presidente ruso, Vladimir Putin, y el presidente de Argelia, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, asisten a una ceremonia de firma luego de sus conversaciones en el Kremlin en Moscú el 15 de junio de 2023
SPUTNIK/MIKHAIL METZEL - Russian President Vladimir Putin and Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune attend a signing ceremony following their talks at the Kremlin in Moscow on 15 June 2023

The continuing human rights abuses in the Tindouf camp are exhausting the Sahrawi refugees. The faint-heartedness after such treatment in the Polisario Front made the observers uncomfortable. The statement of the Moroccan UN adviser, Mouna Ouazzani, came during the general debate of the Steering Committee for Peacekeeping, following the statements of the Algerian representative on the human rights situation in Western Sahara. 

REUTERS/ZOHRA BENSEMR - Campamento de refugiados en Tinduf, al sur de Argelia
REUTERS/ZOHRA BENSEMR - Refugee camp at Tindouf, southern Algeria

The non-contribution of Algeria to the resolution of the conflict in Western Sahara was also the subject of a complaint by Mouna Ouazzani, adviser to MINURSO, before the Fourth Committee of the United Nations General Assembly. The representative of the Kingdom of Morocco responded that Algeria's emphasis on raising the Sahara issue meant that the country was directly involved in the conflict, a claim that Algeria continued to reject. 

PHOTO/PIXABAY - Parlamento Europeo
PHOTO/PIXABAY - European Parliament

In view of all this, the MEPs called on Josep Borrell to take immediate and firm diplomatic action against the Algerian regime for these violations. The end of the letter calls for a firm position and a new commitment by the European Union to play an active and decisive role in the protection of human rights and democratic principles, not only in Algeria, but throughout the world. 

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