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Amnesty denounces continued violation of fundamental rights

1 min

Amnesty International has accused Algerian authorities of maintaining severe repression against dissenting voices and pro-democracy activists, five years after the Hirak protest movement.

The Hirak movement, which began in 2019, was a testament to the Algerian people's desire for political reforms and greater freedom © Mena Today 

Amnesty International has accused Algerian authorities of maintaining severe repression against dissenting voices and pro-democracy activists, five years after the Hirak protest movement.

In a damning report on the period since the pro-democracy demonstrations, the organization calls for the immediate and unconditional release of all political detainees held solely for exercising their fundamental rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.

Based on poignant testimonies from detainees, families, and lawyers, the report paints a bleak picture of the human rights situation in Algeria. Despite the end of the Hirak movement in 2020, authorities are said to have intensified repression, taking advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic and bans on gatherings to justify mass arrests.

Amnesty International condemns the plight of hundreds of peaceful protesters, journalists, activists, and human rights defenders still imprisoned for criticizing the authorities. Heba Morayef, Amnesty International's Director for the Middle East and North Africa region, describes this situation as a tragedy, highlighting that Algerian authorities persist in an alarming campaign of repression despite calls for political reforms and change.

The NGO calls for the restoration of peaceful protests and urges authorities to end harassment of opponents and reform laws that have been used to suppress human rights. Among the cases cited, that of Ihsane El Kadi, owner of independent media outlets, sentenced to seven years in prison, demonstrates the abusive use of the judicial system to silence freedom of expression.

The Hirak movement, which began in 2019, was a testament to the Algerian people's desire for political reforms and greater freedom. However, five years later, demands for change are being stifled by continued repression, leaving little hope for improvement in human rights in Algeria.

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