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Algeria is facing international opprobrium having been fingered over its poor human rights record. In its 41st session, in November 2022, the Universal Periodic Review Mechanism of the United Nations had the North African country fully analyzed by the organization called International Observatory (IOPDHR-Geneva) at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva. This was done in partnership with, the ”pressure group” Partnership for Economic and Social Development (PDES.)

Opening the file on Algeria, the two tracking organizations presented the results of the joint report regarding the degree of compliance by the Algerian state with its international obligations under the Universal Periodic Review which entered the fourth cycle this year. The tracking system followed the recommendations made in May 2022.

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An Algerian activist, Oulid Kebir who doubles as the President of the Mahgreb Council for Peace, Cooperation and Development, described as alarming the resurgence of human rights violations in the civil and public space. He said the situation had descended to dangerous levels as the regime in Algiers had made several amendments to the laws to legitimize abuses against human rights defenders, activists, and journalists. The Algerian regime had gone further as Mr. Oulid Kebir asserts to expand the definition of terrorism, to harass human rights activists and bloggers. They are charged and prosecuted on various charges such as incitement to assembly, intelligence with a foreign country, or contempt of state institutions.

A Dutch expert in organizational behavior and anthropology Mr. Hans Noot highlighted the abnormal situation in the Tindouf camps. He said Algeria has failed to meet the criteria set by the 1951 Geneva Convention on Refugees. According to him the extent of Algeria’s deviation from international rules had excluded the refugees from censuses, refugee cards, and protection reports. The Dutch who is a board member of the Brussels-based Human Rights Without Borders said it is most disheartening to note that armed groups manage the Tindouf camps under the seal of the Algerian regime.

The European Anti-Fraud Office and several UN reports had also exposed the large-scale diversion and looting of humanitarian aid to the refugee camps compounding the plight of refugees whose condition is already precarious. ”The void left by the host country’s failure to meet its commitments to connect the camps to basic services, pose another challenge to the access of economic and social rights within the camps” said Mr Noot.

The President of the Geneva International Observatory for Human Rights, Miss Aicha Duihi who presented a paper on the panoramic situation of Algeria’s human rights record based on analysis of the various working groups, measured Algeria along the lines of freedoms of assembly, expression, and association, extrajudicial executions, implementation of economic rights, protection of children from exploitation, asylum conditions and the rule of law.

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