May 2023 | Increased political repression rises international concern
On 11 May, the European Parliament issued a resolution urging the Algerian authorities to release all activists who are being detained without proper legal justification. The resolution puts diplomatic pressure on Algeria and highlights concerns over the arbitrary detention of activists, urging the Algerian government to ensure a fair and transparent legal process. In particular, the resolution called for the release of journalist Ihsane El Kadi who was recently sentenced to five years in prison on charges of state security. Additionally, Karim Tabbou (a prominent opposition figure from the Hirak movement) was arrested again on 24 May, raising further concerns about human rights and freedoms in the country. Tabbou has been detained by Algerian authorities on multiple occasions times since 2019 due to his political activism.
April 2023 | Media crackdown continues as parliament approves new legislation
On 13 April, the Parliament of Algeria approved legislation that restricts foreign funding and ownership of media outlets and further interferes with the work of journalists. The law’s concerning provisions include: prohibiting Algerian media outlets from receiving foreign funding and materials; forcing journalists to reveal their sources when ordered by a court; forbidding Algerians with dual nationality from being shareholders in media companies; and making insults to foreign heads of state and diplomats a fineable offence.
According to the Algerian Minister of Communications, the law aims to “enshrine freedom and pluralism of the press”. However, the legislation has been condemned by several watchdog organizations as an escalation of crackdown on media freedom in Algeria. The new law was approved 11 days after prominent journalist and government critic, Ihsane El-Kadi was sentenced to five years in prison, accused of receiving foreign funding after he was arrested in December 2022.
January 2023 | Judiciary dissolves Algeria’s oldest human rights association
The Administrative Court of Algiers dissolved the Algerian League for the Defence of Human Rights (LADDH), an NGO founded in 1985 and close to the Hirak protest movement. Although the ruling was issued on 29 June 2022, it was not disclosed until 20 January 2023. The hearing was held in the absence of LADDH’s members and their lawyers, and the ruling was not directly communicated to LADDH. The legal proceedings responded to a complaint filed by the Interior Ministry accusing LADDH of engaging in ‘provocative activities.’ The ruling also suggests that LADDH submitted false reports to international organizations about freedom of association in Algeria. LADDH has denounced the repression of protests in Algeria, as well as the banning of civil society and human rights organizations in recent years. LADDH is the latest organization targeted by the authorities’ campaign against independent civil society.
December 2022 | New dissident voice targeted by Algerian regime as crackdown continues
On 24 December, Algerian authorities arrested Ihsane El-Kadi, a prominent journalist and director of Radio M and the Maghreb Emergent website, seen as Algeria’s last outlets for independent news. El-Kadi is known to be an outspoken critic of the military regime and one of Algeria’s most influential voices. This is the latest measure in the sustained crackdown on opposition by Algerian authorities since the Hirak protest movement in 2019-21, and the “culmination of a long persecution and endless judicial harassment" according to Reporters Without Borders.