The issue of human rights in Algeria came to the forefront as international human rights NGOs seized the opportunity of the French President’s visit to Algiers to draw his attention to the resurgence of “repression” against human rights advocates in the North African country.
A score of NGOs, including the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH), joined their voices to call the French president, François Hollande, to pay attention to the escalating repression directed against human rights defenders and trade unionists.
The signatories of the appeal, which include also SOS Missing, le Collectif des Familles des Disparus en Algérie (CFDA, association of missing persons’ families in Algeria), and the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN), called for ending the “impunity” enjoyed by the “perpetrators of forced disappearances and other serious and massive human rights violations” committed during the civil war of the 90s.
These Algerian and international NGOs had denounced, last week, the repression exerted against the families of missing victims, which were peacefully demonstrating in Algiers and Oran on the occasion of the International Day of Human Rights.
The NGOs had also called “Algerian authorities to allow relatives of missing persons to hold peaceful demonstrations without fear of retaliation and to respond to their legitimate demand for truth, justice and adequate compensation,” said a statement released in Algiers by the Algerian League for the Defense of Human Rights (LADDH).
The signatories have also emphasized the need to ensure the rights to freedom of expression, assembly and peaceful protest. They likewise called authorities to conduct “thorough, impartial and independent investigations on the forced disappearance of thousands of people during the 90s civil war.”
They finally demanded that those responsible of human rights violations and abuses be brought before justice in the frame of legal proceedings meeting international standards of fairness, and called for ending all forms of harassment against human rights activists and trade unionists in Algeria.