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Algerian Parties Angered by EU Resolution over Rights Situation in the Country

Algerian Parties Angered by EU Resolution over Rights Situation in the Country

Saturday, 28 November, 2020 - 07:45
Algeria's protest movement marks its first anniversary. AFP

Algerian pro-government parties denounced the European Parliament resolution condemning "violations of human rights in Algeria", including the detention of Hirak activists.

The National Liberation Front said the European statement is a blatant interference in the country’s internal affairs, describing it as a replication of another blatant interference issued by the same authority on November 28, 2019.

The Liberation Front is the party of former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, and current president Abdelmadjid Tebboune was one of its leading members. However, Tebboune announced after the elections that he will no longer be part of the party.

When the Hirak movement broke out, millions of demonstrators demanded the dissolution of the party, given that most of its leaders, including two of its former secretaries-general, were detained on corruption charges.

Also, the National Democratic Rally said the resolution includes false allegations and stressed that the country will proceed with change and that Algeria takes the decisions it deems appropriate for the interests of its people with full sovereignty and independence.

The party of former Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia, who is in prison on corruption charges, rejected the European resolution describing it as a provocative act and interference in Algerians' internal affairs.

For his part, Sofiane Djilali, the leader of the Jil Jadid (New Generation) party wrote that the European Parliament’s resolution is an insult to Algerians, calling on all patriots to defend the country’s sovereignty.

Djilali stressed that he supports change, not chaos, in reference to his party's opposition to the Hirak activists who serve a foreign agenda.

The European non-binding resolution indicated that political arrests and arbitrary detention of peaceful Hirak and trade union activists, as well as journalists, have increased since the summer of 2019.

It described it as “a violation of the fundamental rights to a fair trial and due process of law; whereas censorship, trials and severe punishment of independent media, often accused of plotting with foreign powers against national security, continue to worsen despite the official end of the Bouteflika government.”

The Parliament also noted that the security restrictions introduced to fight the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to tightening the controls, which are being used to further restrict civic space, limit peaceful expression of dissent and hamper freedom of speech and expression.

The resolution mentioned several activists detained for expressing critical views on social media.

It also highlighted the detention of journalist Khaled Drareni, the correspondent of "Observers Without Borders", who was sentenced by the Court of Appeal, to two years in prison, for “inciting an unarmed gathering” and “endangering national unity” linked to coverage of Algeria’s Hirak protest movement.

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