Algeria: AI alarmed by deteriorating human rights situation

algerie-affrontementAmnesty International deplored the sharp deterioration of the situation of human rights in Algeria and the waves of violence that regularly shake Ghardaia, Touggourt and more generally the Southern parts of the country.

The escalation of violence and the forceful intervention of security forces against the population of Touggourt, 600 km south of Algiers, resulted in the death of three young people who were shot dead. Some fifty other youths were injured in the violence that erupted on November 28. The region of Ghardaia is regularly shaken by violence between the Chaambi community, Arabic-speaking Malikites, and the Mozabites, Berber followers of the Ibadi rite.

In this region of the country, the communities who used to live together are at present not only divided, but have entered a cycle of violence, said Amnesty International’s representative in Algeria, Oussedik Hasina.

She argued that the disproportionate repression by the security forces is an additional factor that aggravates violence. Fundamental freedoms are still repressed and human rights defenders are harassed, she said.

The international Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) has, for its part, vehemently denounced this deadly violence and strongly condemned the excessive use of force against the population of Touggourt.

The Algerian party, the Rally for Culture and Democracy (RCD), has also strongly denounced Algerian officials’ repressive response to the social claims of the people that the party considers as legitimate. For this party, “the power responded with repressive means that contrast extremely with the peaceful protest movement of youths who had rallied for two days before the police intervened.”