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The lifting of Algeria’s 19-year state of emergency in early 2011 did not have a positive effect on the situation of human rights defenders (HRDs). Human rights defenders have continued to be subjected to harassment, threats, physical attacks, arbitrary detention and legal proceedings.
Peaceful protests have been forcibly dispersed and protesters and human rights defenders have been arrested and charged. An indefinite 2001 ban on protests continue to remain in force in the capital Algiers. A number of HRDs have been put on trial under Article 100 of the Penal Code, which punishes the incitement of unarmed gathering.
There have been numerous reports of trumped up charges against HRDs and unjustified refusals of bail. Police has used violence against HRDs.
A new law on associations was passed in January 2012 (Law 12-06) and required all civil society organisations to register with the Ministry of Interior. According to new law, members of an unregistered organisation face three to six months in prison and a fine of 960 to 2,900 euro approx. Fears that the new law would be used to limit the work of legitimate groups were confirmed when an anti-corruption group, the Association Algérienne de Lutte Contre la Corruption (AACC) was refused registration in late 2012. No justification was provided.
Criminal defamation is used to exert pressure on journalists and independent newspapers. A new Press law adopted in late 2011 grants the authorities the right to sanction journalists whose work may undermine the country's economic or security interests. The 2009 Cybercrime Law grants the government the right to censor or close down any online sites deemed to be a threat to public order or decency.
The authorities have also attempted to silence HRDs working abroad through the use of extradition requests on fabricated criminal grounds.
12 September 2012
29 August 2012
05 July 2012
22 June 2012
03 May 2012
Algeria: Arrest of human rights defender Mr Abdelkader Kherba and fears of execution of suspended sentence
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