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MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on The 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

Raphaël Glucksmann, Kati Piri
on behalf of the S&D Group

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

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


The European Parliament,


  having regard to its previous resolutions on Algeria, in particular on the Imprisonment of human and workers’ rights activist in Algeria of  30 April 2015 and to its resolution on ‘the post-Arab Spring: way forward for the MENA region’ of 27 March 2019;

  having regard to the ‘EU Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy in the World 2018 - Algeria’, adopted by the European Council on 18 March 2019;

  having regard to Joint press release on the occasion of the 11th session of the EU-Algeria Association Council  of 14 May 2018;

  having regard to the third Universal Period Review of Algeria (UPR) adopted by the UN Human Rights Council’s 36th session on 21-22 September 2017;

  having regard to the concluding observations on the fourth periodic report of Algeria, adopted by the UN Human Rights Committee at its 123rd session on 27 July 2018;

  having regard to the Joint Report to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions on the Implementation of the European Neighbourhood Policy Review of 17 May 2017; 

  having regard to the Shared Partnership Priorities of the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria and the European Union under the revised European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) of 13 March 2017;

  having regard to the European Commission/HRVP Joint Communication on the Review of the European Neighbourhood Policy of 18 November 2015  and to its resolution on the review of the European Neighbourhood Policy of 9 July 2015;

  having regard to the EU-Algeria Association Agreement and notably to Article 2 which stipulates that respect for democratic principles and fundamental human rights is to inspire the domestic and international policies of the parties to it and shall constitute an essential element of that Agreement;

  having regard to the Constitution of Algeria, revised on 7 February 2016 and in particular Articles 2, 29, 34-36, 39, 41, 42 and 43 thereof;

  having regard to the EU Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders;

  having regard to the Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human, Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, adopted by the UN General Assembly on 9 December 1998;

  having regard to Articles 2, 3(5), 21, 24, 29 and 31 of the Treaty on European Union and Article 10 and 215 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, which commit the EU and its Member States, in their relations with the wider world, to upholding and promoting universal human rights and the protection of individuals;

  having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, adopted by the UN General Assembly on 16 December 1996 and to which Algeria is a State Party, and in particular to articles 18 through 22 thereof;

 having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948;

 having regard to Rule 144 of its Rules of Procedure.

  1. Whereas on 16 February 2019, ten days after that Abdelaziz Bouteflika announced his candidacy for a fifth presidential term, began the 2019 Algerian peaceful protests, also called Hirak (Movement); whereas on 2 April 2019 Bouteflika resigned; whereas  Bouteflika appointee, Abdelkader Bensalah, assumed the office of acting head of state; whereas the military leadership under Lieutenant General Ahmed Gaïd Salah has openly wielded power in the country since Bouteflika’s resignation;


  1. whereas peaceful demonstrations have taken place throughout the country during the months of February, March and April 2019 and then every Tuesday and Friday of the week for the past 40 weeks; whereas in recent weeks, protestors have been holding night marches throughout the week to enhance pressure on security forces;


  1. Whereas the Hirak enjoys wide support throughout the country and constitutes the largest protest movement in Algeria; whereas 44% of Algeria’s population is under the age of 24, youth unemployment stands at 29.1%, and young people make up the majority of demonstrators; whereas demonstrators demand an end to chronically corrupt government practices, a lack of opportunities for political engagement, high unemployment rates, and repression of demonstrations and seek the transition to a democratic governance system;


  1. whereas Abdelaziz Bouteflika had been president since 1999; whereas the constitutional revision of 2016 limited the maximum number of presidential terms served by future presidents to two; whereas the constitutional revision could not be applied retroactively, thereby allowing Bouteflika to run for a fifth term;


  1. whereas the presidential election, originally scheduled for 18 April 2019, had initially been postponed to 4 July 2019 and to 12 December;


  1. whereas the 2019 World Press Freedom Index ranks Algeria 141st out of 180 states surveyed, describes press freedom in the country as ‘under threat’, and notes that journalists face frequent persecution; whereas independent media organisations, citizen reporters on social media, and other outlets face structural censorship from the Algerian authorities for any coverage regarded as supporting dissenting stances; whereas any measure to stifle freedom of the press is in violation of the Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression in Africa, to which Algeria is bound in its capacity as member of the African Union;


  1. whereas the editor-in-chief of the public radio broadcast La chaîne III, Meriem Abdou, resigned on 23 February as a protest against the biased treatment of the Hirak; whereas several other journalists were arrested or face intimidation such as France 24 producer Sofiane Merakchi and the journalist Adel Azibc - in detention since 26 September and 14 October respectively - and Said Boudour - arrested on October 15 - facing charges of ‘defamation’, ‘contributing to the weakening of the morale of the army’, and ‘insulting the regime’;


  1. whereas on 4 March, Nadia Madassi, Canal Algérie's presenter for the last 15 years resigned amid allegations she was censored; whereas on 5 March, Echorouk and El Bilad were sanctioned by the Ministries of Communication for covering the demonstrations; whereas foreign TV channels are at particular risk of being shut down due to their precarious legal status;


  1. whereas ‘Algérie – Debout!’ Facebook group with more than 60,000 members was shut down and its founder and administrator Sofiane Benyounes  was harassed and interrogated several times and before  being charged; whereas journal Jeune Afrique whose May 2019 edition was censored for its feature about Lieutenant General Ahmed Gaid Salah entitled ‘The man who would threaten the revolution’; whereas ‘Tout Sur l’Algerie’ - leading independent news site - has been censored most of the time inside Algeria;


  1. whereas the Hirak protesters, human rights defenders,  journalists and bloggers, are increasingly targeted or arrested to prevent the exercise of their freedom of expression, association or peaceful assembly;


  1. whereas  the  Algerian chamber of lawyers (Union Nationale des Ordres des Avocats, UNOA) unanimously denounced the arrests of activists of the Hirak and the suppression of freedoms; whereas on 24 October 2019 around 500 lawyers demonstrated in Algiers to demand respect for the protestors’ right to due process,  and independence of the judiciary; whereas UNOA has put in place a committee to support the lawyers defending detained protestors and dissidents;


  1. whereas according to the Algerian League for the Defence of Huma Rights (Ligue algérienne de défense des droits de l’Homme, LADDH ) more than a hundred people have been arrested and detained in connection to the peaceful protests since the beginning of the Hirak on  22 February 2019; whereas the frequency of arbitrary arrests has increased during recent weeks, with scores arrested since September 2019; whereas the charges on which they are held, as ‘undermining the integrity of the national unity and territory’, ‘inciting assembly’ and/or ‘weakening the morale of the army’, are vague and violate international human rights standards;


  1. whereas hundreds have been injured and several protestors have died due to excessive use of force by the security forces, among whom 22-year-old Ramzi Yettou, whose death resulted from injuries sustained after being brutally beaten by police in April 2019;


  1. whereas  the 87-year-old Lakhdar Bouregaa - a veteran of the war of independence  -was arrested on 23 June 2019 for criticizing the army; and 22year old law student Nour el Houda Dahmani was arrested following a student march on 17 September 2019 and has become an icon for the weekly marches of students


  1. whereas Ibrahim Daouadji and four other activists were arrested on 12 October 2019 for contesting a visit from the Minister of Youth; whereas they were charged with ‘incitement to assembly’ and sentenced to three months of prison;


  1. whereas Kamal Eddine Fekhar medical doctor, human right defender and former member of the LADDH, died in detention on 28 May following his arrest amidst the massive protests, from what is believed to be the result of conscious medical negligence;


  1. whereas Said Boudour, journalist and human rights defender, member of the Oran section of the LADDH, following his participation in peaceful demonstrations in the city of Oran was arbitrary arrested on 15 October 2019 and is facing several charges including ‘defamation and the spread of fake news’, ‘contributing to the weakening of the morale of the army’, and ‘insulting the regime’; whereas he has suffered frequent harassment from the Algerian authorities for his coverage of human rights issues in the country and he was detained for such work in June 2016, in June 2018, and on December 2018;


  1. Whereas Karim Tabbou, a leading opposition figure, former general secretary of the historical opposition party the Socialist Forces Front (Front des Forces Socialistes, FFS) and nowadays head of the unrecognised party Social and Democratic Union party has been arrested on 12 September; whereas he was released by the Tipaza Court on 27 September and less than 14 hours re-arrested in similar conditions;


  1. whereas several members of the Rassemblement Actions Jeunesse (RAJ) - a leading NGO founded early 90s -  notably the founder Hakim Addad, the president Abdelouahab Fersaoui, and members Massinissa Aissous, Djalal Mokrani, Ahmed Bouider, Kamel Ouldouali, Karim Boutata, Ahcene Kadi, Wafi Tigrine and Khireddine Medjani were arrested during peaceful demonstrations in support of prisoners of conscience in Algeria; whereas other protesters such as Samir Belarbi and Fodil Boumala, remain detained and are being prosecuted for their involvement in the peaceful demonstrations;


  1. whereas human rights defenders Hamid Goura and Slimane Hamitouche were separately detained and interrogated on 8 October 2019, due to their participation in peaceful protests; whereas Hamitouche was later released but given a travel ban and placed on probation which requires him to report to the police station every 15 days;


  1. whereas on 11 November the court of Sidi M’Hamed in Algiers opened the trial of 42 activists, including member of the People's Provincial Assembly of Wilaya, Samira Messouci, charged with ‘compromising the integrity of the national territory’ for brandishing the Amazigh flag, a symbol of national cultural heritage recognised in the Constitution; whereas the Amazigh minority in Algeria faces structural marginalisation; whereas this flag has been deployed together with the national flag all over the country during the weekly demonstrations; whereas on 13 November, 22 of these protestors were sentenced to twelve months in prison, of which six suspended, and 20 are still awaiting a verdict;  whereas several Tribunals in the country have released demonstrators arrested under the same charges;


  1. whereas under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which Algeria ratified, governments must ensure the right to freedom of religion, thought, and conscience of everyone under their jurisdiction, and in particular religious minorities, whereat this right includes the freedom to exercise the religion or belief of one’s choice publicly or privately, alone or with others.


  1. whereas Algeria has been a member of the Human Rights Council of the United Nations since January 2014;



  1. Strongly condemns the arbitrary and unlawful arrests and detainment of, attacks on and intimidations of journalists, trade unionists, lawyers, students, human rights defenders and civil society and all peaceful protesters taking part in the peaceful Hirak demonstrations;
  2. Calls the Algerian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release all those charged for exercising their right to freedom of expression and notably Said Boudour, Hakim Addad, Abdelouahab Fersaoui, Massinissa Aissous, Djalal Mokrani, Ahmed Bouider, Kamel Ouldouali, Karim Boutata, Ahcene Kadi, Wafi Tigrine, Khireddine Medjani ,Samir Belarbi, Karim Tabbou, Fodil Boumala, Lakhdar Bouregaa, Dahmani Nour el Houda Yasmine; Samira Messouci Ibrahim Daouadji, Hamid Goura, Salah Maati, Sofiane Merakchi, Adel Azibc, Fouad Ouicher, Saida Deffeur and the other peaceful protesters,  human rights defenders and journalists arbitrary imprisoned although  their activities are allowed under Algerian law and in line with the international human rights instruments which Algeria has ratified; calls for the lift of the travel ban and probation on Slimane Hamitouche;
  3. Calls the Algerian authorities to put an end to any form of intimidation, including judicial and legislative harassment, criminalisation, and arbitrary arrests and detention against peaceful protesters, human rights defenders, critical journalists, and bloggers,  which violate the rights to freedom of expressions, association or peaceful assembly which is  guaranteed by the Algerian Constitution and by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (articles 19 and 21), which Algeria has signed and ratified,  and undermines the credibility of the reform process in the country;
  4. Calls  on the Algerian authorities to ensure and guarantee the right to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly, and media freedom and to take appropriate steps to ensure the physical and psychological protection, safety and security of civil society activists, human rights defenders and protestors and their freedom to pursue their legitimate and peaceful activities;
  5. Expresses its concerns regarding the administrative hurdles that religious minorities are facing in Algeria, and notably regarding article 11 of Ordinance No. 06-03 of 28 February 2006 on the conditions and rules governing non-Muslim worship, which criminalizes certain activities that could cause individuals to renounce the Muslim faith;
  6. Calls on the Algerian authorities to effectively eliminate and prevent any form of excessive use of force by law enforcement officials during the dispersion of public gathering; strongly condemns the excessive use of force that resulted in the death of Ramzi Yettou;  calls on the Algerian authorities to conduct an independent investigation into all cases of excessive use of force by members of the security forces and hold perpetrators to account;
  7. Calls on the Algerian authorities to fully comply with the provisions of the Declaration on human rights defenders adopted by the UN General Assembly on 9 December 1998, and notably art. 1 and art. 12.2, and with the provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and of the international and regional instruments related to Human rights which Algeria has ratified;
  8. Expresses its concern that despite provisions in the constitutional revision in 2016, no amendment were introduced to the Act No. 91-19 of 2 December 1991 amending and supplementing Act No. 89-28 of 31 December 1989 on public meetings and demonstrations; underlines that the provisions are extremely restrictive and stipulate, for the organization of any demonstration, (a) prior authorization by and at the discretion of the executive on the basis of vague criteria, such as national principles, the public order or public decency; (b) an excessively long advance notice of eight days; and (c) criminal sanctions for any public assembly not meeting these conditions, such events being classified in the Criminal Code as unarmed gatherings;
  9. Calls on the Algeria authorities to amend Act No. 91-19 of 2 December 1991 to remove all restrictions on peaceful demonstrations that are not absolutely necessary or proportionate in terms of the provisions of article 21 of the Covenant, and to institute a simplified advance authorization arrangement for public demonstrations;
  10. Expresses its concern that despite provisions in the constitutional revision in 2016,  the decree of 18 June 2001, which prohibits demonstrations in the capital, has not been revoked and is being applied generally throughout the country; recalls the recommendation to the Algerian authorities to revoke the decree and to establish a system of simple notification rather than prior authorisation for public demonstrations;
  11. Stresses that through the adoption of the EU-Algeria Partnership Priorities for 2017-2020, both sides reaffirmed their shared commitment to the universal values of democracy, the rule of law and human rights, furthermore Algeria and EU agreed to attach special importance to the implementation of the new provisions of the Constitution.
  12. Calls on the EEAS, the Commission and the Member States to support civil society groups, human rights defenders, journalists and protesters including through arrangement of prison visits, trial monitoring and public statements, and the support of the UNOA commission and other organisations acting in defence of human rights;
  13. Reiterates its call on the Commission, the EEAS and the Member States to continue closely monitoring the human rights situation in Algeria, to call for an immediate halt of these violations of human rights in relevant meetings with Algerian  representatives;
  14. Calls on the Algerian authorities to review Law 12-06 of 2012 on associations and to engage in a genuine dialogue with civil society organisations in order to frame a new law that is in conformity with international human rights standards and the Algerian Constitution;
  15. Calls on the Algerian authorities to guarantee the full exercise of the freedom of thought, conscience and religion or belief to all which is guaranteed by the Algerian Constitution and by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (articles 18); calls furthermore to  abolish all legislative provisions that violate freedom of thought, conscience and religion or belief;
  16. Calls on the Algerian authorities to safeguard the social, economic, linguistic, cultural and political rights of its diverse minorities, including the rights of the Amazigh population; welcomes the constitutional recognition of Tamazight as an official language in 2016 and encourages its practical implementation; expresses concern over the unconstitutional delegitimisation of minority cultural symbols; calls for the immediate and unconditional release of the 42 protestors detained for brandishing the Amazigh flag;
  17. Calls the Commission and the EEAS to continue emphasising on the strengthening of the human dimension in bilateral relations, including cooperation in promoting inter-religious dialogue in any possible occasion and at various levels using the dialogue structures established under the EU-Algeria Association Agreement, including during the Sub-committee ‘Political dialogue, security and human rights’;
  18. 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 EU Delegation in Algiers, the Government of Algeria, the UN Secretary-General and the UN Human Rights Council and the Council of Europe.




Posledná úprava: 26. novembra 2019
Právne upozornenie - Politika ochrany súkromia