This is a critical time in Algeria ! The country is going through a dark and dangerous period marked by the proliferation of human rights violations and individual and collective freedom. By choosing to maintain an unsustainable status quo by any means and refusing to pave the way for a democratic change vital to preserving society’s cohesion, the ruling power chooses to exacerbate the authoritarian control over society.
This choice tramples Algeria’s commitments to respect rights and freedoms. All freedoms are threatened due to the brutal restoration of an outdated order, which Algerians have refused in their diversity.
The last few weeks were marked by an unprecedented increase in terms of repression against citizens engaged in the Hirak : journalists, students and human rights defenders are the primary targets. Courts and prisons are also diverted into instruments against citizen’s action and critical thinking.
Human rights activists with a well-known and respected track record of activism are being prosecuted with criminal charges. This is a serious threat ! Our moral and political duty is to warn against the seriousness of the instrumentalization of justice and the perpetrated abuses.
It is our duty to say with the utmost force : No ! Kaddour Chouicha, Djamila Loukil, Said Boudour, Kirra Mustapha and so many others are not terrorists !
The latest communiqué from the Ministry of the Interior on the Hirak demonstrations is threatening. With this demand, the "pouvoir" aims to jeopardize the 22 February 2019 achievements and to undermine all forms of peaceful expression in the public sphere.
As a reminder, demonstrations have been banned in Algiers since June 2001 through a press release, without any legal basis, and with little respect to the Constitution and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights ratified by Algeria, which guarantees the freedom of demonstration. Algerians demonstrate since February 2019 to demand the respect of these norms while the regime wants to maintain by force a state of exception which violates human rights.
The LADDH warns about the severe deterioration of human rights and individual and collective freedoms on the eve of a contested election. It affirms that nothing, absolutely nothing, can justify these frontal assaults against the principles of human rights and any confiscation of freedoms.
The LADDH reaffirms that the aspirations of the Hirak are legitimate : a peaceful democratic change that enshrines the Rule of Law that guarantees dignity, freedoms and justice. Historically carried by the National liberation movement, these aspirations are in line with the principles and norms based on which free nations are grounded.
The LADDH expresses its deep concern about the dominant repression response given to the demands formulated by the exemplary pacifism of the popular movement. This approach is even more dangerous given how significant the socio-economic situation of households has deteriorated and the dire financial situation of the state. A situation that requires wisdom to move towards a peaceful solution in which the Hirak, as a historical maturation movement of the Algerian society, is the ultimate expression.
The LADDH stresses that human rights are under serious threat. It demands the unconditional release and full rehabilitation of the detainees and the immediate stop of all judicial proceedings against citizens who claim a democratic and peaceful change.
Algiers, 11 May 2021