In January, several hundreds in the southern city of Laghouat demonstrated against unemployment. Authorities responded again by arresting dozens of protesters, and subsequently activists protesting the arrests. Several protesters including Mohamed Ragog, Belkacem Khencha and other members of the National Committee for the Defense of the Unemployed Rights (CNDDC) were charged with participating in the “unarmed assembly”. They were sentenced to 1-2 years in prison. In March, a court in Oued sentenced 5 peaceful protesters up to 4 months in prison. At the end of the year they were still on the loose, awaiting a ruling in the case from the Algerian national court. In October, a Tamanrasset court sentenced 7 protesters to 1 year in prison. 6 others appealed their verdict.
According to Countryaah, authorities maintained the ban on any kind of demonstrations. In February, all protesters were arrested as they arrived at an anti-fracking demonstration and were detained by police for hours. In June 2015, the police staged a demonstration called by SOS Disparus, called in protest against the failure to resolve the many disappearances of the 1990s. Many journalists were sentenced to prison sentences and/or fines during the year for violating the Prophet, written about President Bouteflika’s health or “violated” public institutions. Many clashes between security forces and armed groups were reported during the year. Security forces announced that 109 alleged members of militant groups had been killed during the year, but gave no details. AQIM claimed to have carried out an attack in July in the northern province of Ain Defla, which allegedly cost 14 soldiers life. Authorities continue to hamper international monitoring of the human rights situation in the country. This was especially true of the experts who worked on investigating torture,
In January 2016, Bouteflika closed down the Ministry of Information and Security (DRS). It was the country’s most important intelligence system until then, but at the same time had a long tradition of torture and mistreatment of prisoners. Instead, the Security Service Directorate was created, referring directly to the President.
As part of constitutional amendments, a new National Human Rights Council was established in February. However, Algeria continued its policy of preventing missions from international human rights organizations, as well as the UN visiting and conducting investigations in the country. Human rights continued to be violated and during the year, security forces killed 125 members of rebel groups or the opposition by clashes around the country. The constitutional amendments in February extended academic and freedom of speech, but the constitution makes the rights dependent on existing legislation, which continues to drastically restrict these rights.
- AllCityPopulation: Find Algeria demographics including latest population, life expectancy, age structure, and urbanization.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visited Sahrawi refugee camps in Algeria in March and took the opportunity to designate Western Sahara as occupied by Morocco.
The May 2017 parliamentary election was a staggering defeat for the ruling FLN, going 44 seats back to 164, while the RND went down 29 seats to 100. After the election, President Bouteflika appointed bdelmadjid Tebboune to new prime minister. However, he only managed to get 3 months on the record. Already in August, Bouteflika replaced him with RND leader Ahmed Ouyahia.
Denmark is actively supporting the suppression of human rights in Algeria. In 2016-17, Dagbladet Information could reveal that the Danish Ministry of Business had granted export authorization for advanced monitoring equipment from the Nørresundby company BAE Systems Applied Intelligence. The permit was for exports to the dictatorial states of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, UAE, Morocco and Algeria. The advanced electronic equipment was used to monitor and persecute journalists, human rights activists and oppositionists. Even before the Arab Spring of 2011, BAE’s predecessor, ETI, had provided monitoring equipment to the Ben Ali dictatorship in Tunisia.