Algeria dissolves pro-democracy group | CTV News

Algiers, Algeria –

Algerian authorities on Thursday disbanded a decades-old pro-democracy movement group that took part in peaceful protests that helped force the North African country’s longtime president Abdelaziz Bouteflika out of office in 2019. .

The Youth Action Group, known by its French acronym RAJ, and the left-wing Democratic Socialist Movement Party, which was suspended in the same decree, appear to be the latest targets in a crackdown on dissent in Algeria.

The Algerian State Council said the RAJ was dissolved in line with the October 2021 Administrative Court decision, and upheld the Interior Ministry’s case. The ministry said the group was “gathering forces to destabilize the country” and engaged in other activities that violated the controversial 2012 law on non-governmental groups. rice field.

The RAJ leaders have repeatedly denied the government’s allegations that the authorities, under Bouteflika’s successor, President Abdelmadjid Teboun, said that under Bouteflika, power was marked by corruption and an ever-present shadow of oppression. He said he had withdrawn his promise to reform the structure.

International human rights groups have called on Tebboune to repeal a 2012 law governing NGO activities adopted by the Bouteflika government.

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International said in a joint statement earlier this month that the law was “highly restrictive and does not comply with international standards on freedom of association.”

The two watchdogs also called on the Algerian authorities to reverse their decision to dissolve the Algerian League for the Defense of Human Rights (LADDH) and “end the general crackdown on independent civil society organizations.”

The Algiers Administrative Court dissolved LADDH in June 2022 following a complaint filed by the interior ministry, LADDH said after reading the verdict on its fate online in January.

On Wednesday, the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime (GI-TOC) said in a statement that one of the Algerian researchers, Raouf Farrah, was arrested and charged in court with “dissemination of information from classified documents.” said to have been indicted.

Farah and his 67-year-old father were also in custody, according to the organization, and were arraigned along with seven others in the northeastern city of Constantine during overnight hearings on February 20. rice field. It is an act of disturbing public order,” he said, adding that the charges were “completely baseless.”

“There is nothing classified or harmful to the Algerian state in[Mr Farah’s]widely published research,” the organization said, calling on authorities to release him.

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