A report including the results of meticulous research backed by facts and field surveys was released in July by the CFDA, the Collective of Families of Missing people in Algeria. However, the document went almost unnoticed probably because of the summer holidays and the dramatic events in Syria.
The report titled “The Algerian regime tested on human rights – the illusion of change” is based on many testimonies from associations, independent trade unions, activists and human rights advocates. In this detailed work, the CFDA scrutinizes the multiple violations of human rights committed in Algeria just since 2011.
The lifting of the state of emergency in 2011 and the various texts presented by the authorities as reforms were ultimately mere ways to “give an illusion of change.” The truth is that the situation in Algeria was still marked by “repression, impunity and violations of civil liberties and human rights,” the report says.
Algerians who dare claim their rights “are subjected to discrimination, arbitrary arrests, extrajudicial detentions, judicial harassment and sometimes even torture.” Since January 2013, social claims are more frequently voiced but the large demonstrations demanding better standards of living, decent housing, or employment have been “repressed by law enforcement forces.”
As to the serious human rights violations and forced disappearances that occurred during the dark years of the civil war of the 90s, “no progress” has been made neither, insists the CFDA. The authorities “are still denying the families of missing people access to truth and justice.”
In the light of this gloomy assessment, the CFDA asks Algerian authorities to put an end to violations of individual and collective freedoms, and to stop “harassing human rights advocates.” The Collective also asks the government to adapt national laws “to the commitments made at the international level and to repeal the texts that are contrary to human rights conventions.”