Human Rights

Algeria: Mass Arrests Of Protesters Continue To Take Place

North Africa

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has stated that the security forces in Algeria are arresting members of the Hirak movement en masse.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) recently released a report concerning the violation of human rights by the Algerian authorities against member of the popular Hirak protest movement in Algeria. Information was provided by the human rights violations by

Despite calls by the recently elected president, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, to initiate a national dialogue between the state authorities and the protest movement, the situation on the ground reflects the opposite trend.

There was a grain of hope in the sincerity of the new government’s will to appease some of the demands by protesters by releasing a number of political prisoners in January. Nevertheless, protests have been continuing and the security apparatus has resumed arrests of protesters and activists.

Those who have been arrested by the authorities were detained on spurious charges, linking their activities to an apparent “threat to national security”.

A number of prominent activists are still in prison, including Abdelwahab Farsaoui, who is the current president of the Youth Action Rally, which has played a prominent part in the protests over the past few months. Another prominent activist still in prison is Karim Tabbou, who is the coordinator of Democratic and Socialist Party, which is officially not recognised.

The protests in Algeria are approaching their one-year anniversary in February. The initial wave of protests brought an end to the long-lasting presidential rule of Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who was forced to resign in April 2019 as a result of the demonstrations. The protests nevertheless continued as demonstrators were eager to keep the momentum and to assert their democratic demands.

However, the interim government which assumed responsibility for the state thereafter began to increase repressive measures against the protesters, leading to mass arrests. The election of 12 December, which attracted a substantially low turnout, was marred in controversy as the candidates were all nominated by the interim government, without allowing space for alternative candidates not linked to the political establishment to come forward.