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Procedure : 2015/2665(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0422/2015

Texts tabled :


Debates :

PV 30/04/2015 - 16.3
CRE 30/04/2015 - 16.3

Votes :

PV 30/04/2015 - 17.3
CRE 30/04/2015 - 17.3

Texts adopted :

PDF 136kWORD 58k

with request for inclusion in the agenda for a debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law

pursuant to Rule 135 of the Rules of Procedure

on the imprisonment of human and workers' rights activists in Algeria (2015/2665(RSP))

Cristian Dan Preda, Tomáš Zdechovský, Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, László Tőkés, Claude Rolin, Tunne Kelam, Francesc Gambús, Andrzej Grzyb, Jiří Pospíšil, Jaromír Štětina, Bogdan Brunon Wenta, Giovanni La Via, David McAllister, Jarosław Wałęsa, Marijana Petir, Davor Ivo Stier, Therese Comodini Cachia, Eduard Kukan, Andrej Plenković, József Nagy, Pál Csáky, Ramona Nicole Mănescu, Joachim Zeller, Franck Proust, Dubravka Šuica, Stanislav Polčák, Ivan Štefanec, Pavel Svoboda, Monica Macovei, Lara Comi, Elisabetta Gardini, Ivana Maletić on behalf of the PPE Group
NB: This motion for a resolution is available in the original language only.

European Parliament resolution on the imprisonment of human and workers' rights activists in Algeria (2015/2665(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

 having regard to its previous resolutions on Algeria,

  having regard to its legislative resolution of 13 September 2012 on the draft Council decision on the conclusion of the Agreement between the European Union and the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria on scientific and technological cooperation,

 having regard to the legal framework for EU-Algeria relations, which is the Association Agreement,

 having regard to the Foreign Affairs Council conclusions on the Review of the European Neighbourhood Policy of 20 April 2015,

 having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), ratified by Algeria,

 having regard to Rule 135 of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas on 28 January 2015 in the town of Laghouat, eight labour rights activists, members of National Committee for the Defence of the Rights of the Unemployed (Comité National pour la Défense des Droits des Chômeurs, CNDDC), were arrested and then condemned to one year in prison with a 6-month suspended sentence and a fine each of 5,000 Algerian dinars last March for “unauthorized/ illegal gathering” and “exercising pressure on the decisions of magistrates”;

B.  whereas Mohamed Rag, another well-known labour rights activist in the town of Laghouat, who has been in prison since 22 January 2015, was sentenced to 18 months in prison and a fine of 20,000 Algerian dinars for “assaulting a security force agent in the exercise of his duties”;

C.  whereas it has been reported that on 11 March 2015, the day of their appeal hearing, an unusually high number of police officers were deployed, thereby preventing the public and the witnesses for the defence to enter the courtroom, which constitutes a violation of the rights of the defence and the right to a fair trial, and that outside the courtroom the police arrested then released thereafter close to 50 peaceful demonstrators who were expressing their solidarity with the nine prisoners;

D.  whereas in March 2015 two other labor rights activists, members of the CNDDC in the town of El Oued, have been arrested and charged for instigating a gathering after being finally acquitted and, in addition, Rachid Aouine, human rights activist, was sentenced by the El Oued Court of Appeal on 15 April 2015, to four months in prison and a fine of 20,000 Algerians dinars for “inciting to an unarmed gathering” after he posted an ironic comment on Facebook urging the police to stand up for their rights instead of repressing the demonstrators; whereas Youssef Sultani, member of the CNDDC, has been facing a trial for “inciting a gathering” for participating to the peaceful gathering in solidarity with Rachid Aouine and his family members on 3 March 2015;

E.  whereas Algeria, under examination for its application of International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 87 in June 2014, has been scrutinized by ILO experts in several of their reports for violating workers’ rights to strike and to form unions of their own choosing;

F.  whereas Algeria needs to strengthen its governance in the justice sector, and the institutions which guarantee the rule of law and the democratic system; whereas weaknesses such as the lack of independence of the judiciary, the weak participation of citizens in public life or the poor efficiency of the public sector need to be reverted;

G.  whereas Algeria’s penal code contains several articles that criminalize peaceful protests, Article 97 makes it an offense punishable by up to one year in prison to organize or participate in demonstrations in public spaces, Article 100 imposes the same penalty for “inciting an unarmed gathering” in writing or speech, Law 91-19 makes it a crime to hold or participate in public gatherings not authorized by the Interior Ministry;

H.  whereas the European Endowment for Democracy (EED) has currently two initiatives in Algeria;

1.  Condemns the increase in the judicial harassment by Algerian authorities of journalists and government critics and denounces the conditions of their arrest and detention;

2.  Urges the release of Rachid Aouine, Mohamed Rag, Khencha Belkacem, Brahimi Belelmi, Mazouzi Benallal, Azzouzi Boubakeur, Korini Belkacem, Bekouider Faouzi, Bensarkha Tahar and Djaballah Abdelkader, as their detention seems to aim sanctioning their human rights activities;

3.  Urges to put an end to any act of harassment against all the aforementioned human rights defenders, including at the judicial level, in compliance with the provisions of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders;

4.  Recalls that the freedom to criticize officials such as the police and to stage protests is a necessary part of supporting public debate in Algeria;

5.  Calls on the Algerian authorities to guarantee the right to a fair trial and ensure a minimum guarantee for the rights of the defence for all detainees, including human rights defenders and labour rights activists, in compliance with article 14(3) of the ICCPR, ratified by Algeria, and to guarantee the right to freedom of assembly, association and expression, in compliance with the Algerian Constitution and the provisions of the ICCPR; recalls to the Algerian authorities the need to change the laws against peaceful protest;

6.  Stresses that the EU is supporting Algeria and its people and desires to strengthen its cooperation with them supporting the country; recalls that the EU key strategic priorities are the support to the deepening of democracy, respect for the rule of law, human rights and fundamental freedoms, including gender equality, thus contributing to long term domestic stability; the support to sustainable and inclusive economic development, reducing social and regional inequalities, promoting diversification of the economy which is important for job creation, especially for youth, enhancing standards of living, securing energy supplies to the EU; establishing a close partnership among peoples and civil societies; partnership in terms of addressing security challenges and reducing regional tensions, in order to facilitate closer cooperation and integration in the Maghreb in accordance with declared EU policy objectives;

7.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the UN Secretary-General, the UN Human Rights Council, and the Government and Parliament of Algeria.



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