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MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on situation of freedoms in Algeria

26.11.2019 - (2019/2927(RSP))

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 144 of the Rules of Procedure

Anna Fotyga, Karol Karski, Charlie Weimers, Bert‑Jan Ruissen, Adam Bielan, Andrey Slabakov, Angel Dzhambazki, Ryszard Czarnecki, Assita Kanko, Raffaele Fitto, Carlo Fidanza, Beata Kempa, Ruža Tomašić, Witold Jan Waszczykowski, Jadwiga Wiśniewska, Valdemar Tomaševski
on behalf of the ECR Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B9-0193/2019

Postopek : 2019/2927(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on situation of freedoms in Algeria


The European Parliament,


  having regard to its previous resolutions on Algeria, notably that of 30 April 2015 on imprisonment of human and workers' rights activists in Algeria,


  having regard to the EU-Algeria Association Agreement, which entered into force on 1 September 2005,


  having regard to the EU Algeria Association Council on 13 March 2017, adopting the Shared Partnership Priorities of Algeria and the EU under the revised European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP),


  having regard to the EU Guidelines on Freedom of Religion and Belief of 2013,


  having regard to the EU Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders of 2008,


  having regard to the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP),


  having regard to the 2018 EU Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy in the World,


  having regard to the political dialogue on human rights and security between the EU and Algeria in March 2018,


  having regard to the 2017 UNHRC Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on Algeria,


  having regard to Articles 18 and 22 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,


  having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 and the UN Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief,


  having regard to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights,


  having regard to Articles 42, 48 and 54 of the Constitution of Algeria,


  having regard to the Algerian law 12-06 relating to associations,


  having regard to Ordinance 06-03 regulating non-Muslim religious worship,


  having regard to Rule 144 of its Rules of Procedure,



  1. whereas the European Union and Algeria have a long-standing partnership within the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP);


  1. whereas 2019 in Algeria has been marked by protests calling for government reforms, leading to the resignation of long-serving President Abdelaziz Bouteflika in April;


  1. whereas his departure was not enough for the predominantly young protesters who have taken to the streets for 37 consecutive Fridays, calling for sweeping government reforms, accusing leaders of widespread corruption and state repression;


  1. whereas protesters do not want an election next month, arguing that it would not be transparent or fair under the current political system;


  1. whereas on 7 March 2019, Algerian blogger and prisoner of conscience Merzoug Touati was released after two years in prison for incitement to an illegal gathering and for urging public protests against a new finance law; whereas, in spite of this, authorities continue to block social media accounts and websites with content deemed dissenting;


  1. whereas several human rights defenders have been detained or have been subject to harassment from the Algerian state, including Said Boudour, Hamid Goura, Slimane Hamitouche and Abdelouahab Fersaoui;


  1. whereas Article 98 of the Algerian penal code punishes organizing or participating in an unauthorized demonstration in a public place with up to one year in prison;


  1. whereas the Algerian Constitution enshrines fundamental freedoms, including freedom of association, further defined by law 12-06; whereas law 12-06 requires every association, including those that had already successfully registered, to re–register and obtain a registration receipt from the Interior Ministry before they can operate legally;


  1. whereas the law states that the administration has 30 to 60 days to decide whether to allow the registration to take effect and that the administration is required to issue the registration receipt after the above mentioned term is expired;


  1. whereas the EEAS 2018 Human Rights report stated that the space in Algeria for civil society activism remained limited, and challenges remained with regard to freedom of association and assembly;


  1. whereas the Protestant Association of Algeria (Église protestante d'Algérie - EPA) - which was granted official recognition as a religious association in 1974 -  applied for re-registration in 2013; whereas in spite of meeting all legal requirements until now has not received any response to the application and therefore up to date lacks official legal status;


  1. whereas pressure on churches has increased significantly since late 2017, as government inspectors checking compliance with building and safety regulations have also demanded to see permits authorizing non-Muslim worship – which cannot be handed over because the permits were never granted- which resulted in the closure of at least 15 churches, 7 of which have been closed in the last 3 months, some closures accompanied by detention and assault by the Algerian authorities; whereas on 21 October 2019 the Minister of Interior threatened to close all churches in Algeria under the umbrella of the EPA;


  1. whereas Ordinance 06-03 states that the use of all places of non-Muslim worship must be authorized by the National Commission for Non-Muslim Worship; whereas this Commission has not issued a single permit since 2006, when the law was issued;


  1. whereas Ordinance 06-03 states that religious associations of non-Muslims are protected by the state and the National Commission will ensure respect for the exercise of worship; whereas the Ordinance prohibits proselytizing among Muslims on behalf of other faiths (Article 11) and the dissemination of materials aimed at “shaking the faith of a Muslim’’, which contradicts the principle of freedom of religion and belief;


  1. whereas authorities are prosecuting Ahmadis under the charges of participation in an unauthorized association; whereas authorities used the association law to deny registration to a charitable organization formed by members of the Ahmadi community; whereas according to the Human Rights Watch World Report 2019, more than 315 Ahmadis stood trial between June 2016 and March 2018, including for the exercise of their faith in an unauthorized place of worship under articles 7, 12, and 13 of Ordinance 06-03;


  1. whereas, according to Open Doors International’s 2019 World Watch List, which details the countries where Christians are most persecuted, Algeria has risen 20 places from 42 to 22;


  1. whereas promoting and protecting freedom of religion or belief is one of the key priorities of the EU’s human rights policy, including the full endorsement of the principle of non-discrimination and equal protection for people holding non-theistic or atheistic beliefs;


  1. whereas two Oran-based women’s rights associations, Feminist Association for Personal Development and Exercise of Citizenship (AFEPEC) and Algerian Women Claiming their Rights (FARD),  registered legally, one in 1989 and the other in 1996, then had to re-register due to law 12-06, which they did in 2012 and 2014 respectively; whereas Algerian authorities sealed the premises of the aforementioned women’s rights associations on 27 February 2018 on the grounds that they were not registered, however, the groups were allowed to reopen and FARD was granted a registration receipt later in the year, following a court order;


  1. Whereas, according to Human Rights Watch 2018 report on Algeria, associations such as the Algerian League for Human Rights (Ligue Algérienne de Défense des Droits de l’Homme, LADDH), Youth Action Rally (Rassemblement Action Jeunesse, RAJ) and Algeria’s Amnesty International section, are among formerly registered associations whose applications for re-registration received no answer;


  1. whereas, according to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, every person has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association, as well as freedom of religion or belief;


  1. whereas Algeria  supported – amongst other recommendations - the recommendations made under the UPR 2017 to further strengthen laws and policies to protect the freedom of religion and belief, as well as the freedoms of expression, association and assembly and to take further measures to guarantee the rights to expression, assembly, association and belief;


  1. whereas EU bilateral assistance to Algeria under the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) for the period 2018-2020 has an indicative allocation range of €108 million - €132 million; whereas one of the 6 ENI targets is fostering human rights and fundamental freedoms, the rule of law, equality, sustainable democracy, good governance and a thriving civil society;


  1. whereas the EU Algeria Association Council on 13 March 2017 adopted the "Partnership Priorities" which focus on the implementation of the Constitution revision and the EU's support to the progress of democracy and human rights in Algeria;




  1. Underlines the importance of EU-Algeria relations with Algeria as an important neighbour and partner; stresses its solidarity with the Algerian people and is committed to continuing to support Algeria in the process of building its democratic institutions, respecting and defending human rights and promoting social justice and security;


  1. Expresses concern at the ongoing restrictions of fundamental rights including the freedoms of association, assembly and speech; considers that harassment and intimidation of human rights defenders is not a practice in accordance with the provisions of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders;


  1. Calls on the Algerian authorities to ensure and guarantee the right to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly, and to take appropriate steps to ensure the safety and security of civil society activists and human rights defenders and their freedom to pursue their legitimate and peaceful activities;


  1. Encourages the Algerian government to revise the Law of Associations (12- 06) to further bring it line with the Constitution and with its international human rights obligations;


  1. Expresses concern at the limiting of freedom of expression by shutting down social media accounts and websites; urges that they be allowed to operate and the right to freedom of expression be upheld;


  1. Reminds the Algerian authorities of their obligations at national and international level to protect freedom of religion or belief; reaffirms that this is a universal human right that need to be protected for everyone; strongly condemns all forms of violence, intimidation and discrimination that impair the right to have or not to have, or to adopt, a religion of one’s choice, including the use of threats, physical force or penal sanctions to compel believers or non-believers to renounce their religion or to convert;


  1. Urges the Algerian government to ensure that the relevant administrative authority will issue a  registration receipt to non-Muslim religious associations who applied for re-registration; urges the Algerian government to ensure that the re-registration process of such associations will be followed without delay;


  1. Calls for a stop to violations against the freedom of Christians, Ahmadis and other religious minorities to worship;


  1. Calls for the re-opening of all the closed Protestant churches and provision of permits for places to worship so that they might operate freely; calls for all cases, charges and sentences against religious minorities on account of their beliefs be dropped;


  1. Reminds the Algerian government that Ordinance 06-03 guarantees the free exercise of worship and encourages the Algerian government to apply it in accordance with the purpose of the law, namely to ensure respect for the free exercise of worship; encourages the Algerian government to revise Ordinance 06-03 to further bring it line with the Constitution and with its international human rights obligations, namely Article 18 of the ICCPR on freedom of religion and belief;


  1. Calls on the European External Action Service, the EU Delegation to Algeria and the Member States’ delegations to monitor closely the human rights and political situation in Algeria and to use all available instruments, including the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights;


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




Zadnja posodobitev: 26. november 2019
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