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MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the deteriorating situation of human rights in Algeria, in particular the case of journalist Khaled Drareni

24.11.2020 - (2020/2880(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

Michael Gahler, Isabel Wiseler‑Lima, Željana Zovko, Miriam Lexmann, Loránt Vincze, Radosław Sikorski, Tomáš Zdechovský, Elżbieta Katarzyna Łukacijewska, Inese Vaidere, Vangelis Meimarakis, Krzysztof Hetman, Romana Tomc, Magdalena Adamowicz, Ivan Štefanec, Maria Walsh, Adam Jarubas, Benoît Lutgen, Sandra Kalniete, Eva Maydell, Luděk Niedermayer, Jiří Pospíšil, Stanislav Polčák, Stelios Kympouropoulos, Peter van Dalen, Michaela Šojdrová, Ioan‑Rareş Bogdan, Paulo Rangel
on behalf of the PPE Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B9-0375/2020

Procedura : 2020/2880(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on the deteriorating situation of human rights in Algeria, in particular the case of journalist Khaled Drareni


The European Parliament,

-  having regard to its previous resolutions on Algeria, in particular that of 28 November 2019 on the situation of freedoms in Algeria and 30 April 2015 on the imprisonment of workers and human rights activists in Algeria,


-  having regard to the EU-Algeria Association Agreement and notably to Article 2 thereof, which stipulates that respect for democratic principles and fundamental human rights must constitute an essential element of the agreement and inspire the domestic and international policies of the parties thereto,


-  having regard to the EU Guidelines on human rights defenders, on the death penalty, on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, on freedom of expression online and offline,


-  having regard to the OHCHR statement of 16 September 2020 on “UN experts condemn jail sentence against Algerian journalist and call for his release”


-  having regard to Rules 144 of its Rules of Procedure,


  1. whereas Algeria is a key partner for the European Union within the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy with important political, economic and people-to-people interests in the country and in the region, whereas the EU-Algeria Partnership Priorities are the expression of shared commitment to the universal values of democracy, the rule of law and human rights;


  1. whereas the EEAS 2019 Human Rights report stated that the restrictions of freedom of expression and the limitations imposed on journalists continued, including blockage of internet outlets, censorship of TV programmes, detention and harassment of journalists;


  1. whereas according to the National Committee for the Release of Detainees (CNLD), there are 87 prisoners of conscience in Algeria;


  1. whereas new restrictive laws, such as Law 20-06 passed in April 2020 behind closed doors, criminalising dissemination of “false news” and financing of any association “which might undermine the state or the fundamental interests of Algeria”, with one to three years imprisonment;


  1. whereas the judicial harassment of 40-year old journalist Khaled Drareni -a symbol of press freedom in Algeria and correspondent for TV5Monde and Reporters Without Borders- was arrested on 7 March 2020 for filming police attacking demonstrators of the Hirak movement-, and sentenced on 15th September to two years in prison for “incitement to unarmed gathering” and “harming the integrity of national territory”, is emblematic of the tightening of space in Algeria for independent journalists perceived as dissenting voices through use of overbroad legislation;


  1. whereas numerous examples show the crackdown on civil society, such as the member of the Algerian League for Human Rights and journalist Said Boudour who has been tried since February 2020 on charges of “defamation and the spread of fake news contributing to the weakening of the morale of the Algerian National Armed Forces”, following his participation in peaceful, pro-democracy demonstrations in Oran; the founder of the Hirak Memes Facebook page Walid Kechida who has been put under preventive detention since 27 April 2020 on charges of “contempt of the President” for posting satirical cartoons on social media; the Reporter Abdelkrim Zeghileche, who was sentenced to two years in prison on 24 August 2020 after he called for the creation of a new political party and for criticizing the government and was accused of “endangering national unity” and “insulting the head of state”; the human rights defender Anouar Rahmani who was convicted on 7 November 2020 also of “insulting state officials” in social media posts in which he spoke out against government officials or the Amazighi human rights defender and Hirak activist Yacine Mebarki who was sentenced on 8 October 2020  to 10 years in prison on charges of “offence against the precepts of Islam” and “possession of war material without authorization”;



  1. Strongly condemns the arbitrary and unlawful arrests, detention and judicial harassment of journalists, human rights defenders, civil society and other peaceful activists solely for expressing their views and therefore calls to overturn the sentence and immediately and unconditionally release Khaled Drareni, Walid Kechida, Abdelkrim Zeghileche, drop charges against Said Boudour, Yacine Mebarki and Anouar Rahmani;
  2. Urges the government to halt the arrest, detention and harassment political activists, lawyers, journalists, and human rights defenders, as well as any person who protest peacefully and/or express their views online, expresses dissent or criticism of the government and/or calls for democratic which violate the rights to freedom of expressions, association or peaceful assembly as guaranteed by the Algerian Constitution and by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;
  3. Recalls that 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 and association and assembly and therefore calls for the repeal of the new restrictive laws which disproportionately restrict free speech and assembly and criminalise those related to defamation of public figures which serve as a tool to prosecute peaceful protesters;


  1. Underlines the importance of EU-Algeria relations with Algeria as an important neighbour and partner; recalls the importance of a strong and deep EU-Algerian relationship and reaffirms its commitment to foster these relations, based on full respect for common values such as respect for human rights, democracy, rule of law, and freedom of the media;


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




Ostatnia aktualizacja: 24 listopada 2020
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