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European MPs Worry About Rights Situation in Algeria, Send Letter to Borrell

Members of various European parliamentary groups sent a letter last Friday to High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Union, Josep Borrell, denouncing the very serious human rights situation in Algeria.

The letter criticized Algeria’s regime for its “relentless repression” of free expression, peaceful assembly, and association.

The message focused on “incidents such as the dissolution of more than twenty human rights organizations, the closure of several independent media outlets, and the arbitrary detention of journalists and political activists, illustrating a flagrant violation of civil liberties.”

The letter was part of a series of more than five initiatives launched by the European Parliament this year, including debates in the European Parliament’s Human Rights Sub-Committee and a strong condemnatory resolution implemented in May, all of which expressed concern about Algeria’s continued deterioration of human rights.

This European initiative comes on the heels of the visit of UN Special Rapporteur Clément Nyaletsossi Voule in September, “whose call on the authorities to reduce restrictions on civil organizations was ignored.”

MEPs also cite Algeria’s violation of the principles of the EU-Algeria Association Agreement, which enshrines respect for human rights as essential. They urge the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to take urgent and forceful diplomatic action against the Algerian regime.

The letter concludes by calling for a firm stance and renewed commitment on the part of the European Union to assume an active and decisive role in the defense of human rights and democratic principles, not only in Algeria but worldwide.