Repression In Algeria: The Damning Testimony Of A Human Rights Activist Before The UN
Geneva, Sep 2 (TNA) An Algerian human rights activist, prevented from leaving her country, has questioned the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights by videoconference on the climate of repression and oppression of fundamental freedoms in Algeria, and on the abuses suffered by Hirak activists.
Speaking in the context of the pre-session of the universal periodic review dedicated to civil society, the Algerian human rights activist, Jamila Loukil, who was banned, with her husband, Kaddour Chouicha, vice-president of the office of the Algerian League for the Defense of Human Rights (Laddh), to travel to Geneva to attend the work of this meeting, gave a testimony in which she denounced repressive police practices in Algeria, intimidation, practices of judicial harassment and the use by the authorities of his country of arbitrary travel bans in order to put pressure on human rights activists.
Jamila Loukil recounted how she was detained with her husband by the police at Oran airport who knowingly wanted to make her miss her trip to Geneva, specifying that "it was only after the departure of the 'plane that we were able to get out' of the Commissariat. Placed on bail for seventeen months on false charges of terrorism along with her husband and journalist Said Boudour, Loukil denounced the situation of human rights and freedoms which has deteriorated sharply in Algeria with unprecedented repression fundamental rights and freedoms.
In the area of freedom of assembly and demonstration, she pointed out that since 2021, the penal code has undergone a broad amendment with the broadening of the fields of accusation, the toughening of criminal penalties and above all the expansion of notion of terrorism to all critical activities or positions, with the instrumentalization of the judicial institution.
"This has led to the criminalization of the activities of associations, trade unions, politics, human rights defenders, journalists and the imprisonment of thousands of people," she protested.
She noted, on the other hand, that Algeria's commitments to respect freedom of the press and freedom of expression have not been kept, recalling that journalists and bloggers have been imprisoned on terrorism charges. or provisions of the penal code providing for custodial sentences, such as incitement to unarmed gatherings, discrediting court decisions, moral attack on the army, insulting public officials and defamation.