Human Rights Violations: Algeria, Polisario Decried at UNHRC

From the repression of the Hirak movement to human rights violations in the Tindouf camps, including persecution against religious minorities, the abuses committed by Algeria and its puppet the polisario have been strongly decried on the occasion of the 46th session of the UN Rights Council.

This session, which is coming to an end after four weeks of debates in video conference, was an opportunity for several international organizations, including the UN, and human rights activists to denounce these reprehensible acts, pillory their perpetrators and express full solidarity with the victims both in Algerian cities and inside the camps of the separatists in Tindouf, a real “no-go zone” in the words of one of the participants in this session.

Grievances and criticism have started from the very first days of the session by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, who urged the Algerian authorities to immediately release all those arrested for participating in the peaceful demonstrations of the pro-democracy Hirak movement.

Bachelet called, in this regard, for “true democratic elections reflecting the will of the people”.

In the meantime, several civil society organizations have taken turns at this session of the UNHRC to denounce the repression in Algeria, but also in the camps of the polisario militias.

The independent organization “the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies” (CIHRS) for its part condemned the trials opened in 2020 against a thousand people prosecuted for exercising their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.

It also spoke out against the campaign of harassment and persecution targeting human rights defenders and journalists while performing their duties, citing the case of the student Walid Nekich, victim of physical, sexual, and psychological violence during his preventive detention of 14 months.

Algeria has also been criticized by international organizations before the Human Rights Council for violations of the rights of religious minorities, in particular for the campaign to close Protestant places of worship.

The World Evangelical Alliance, the World Council of Churches and Christian Solidarity Worldwide have expressed “grave concern about the ongoing closure of Protestant churches in Algeria”.

In a similar statement presented to the UNHRC, the Baptist World Alliance denounced, on its turn, “the campaign led by the Algerian authorities against Protestant churches and Protestant Christians in Algeria”.

In addition, other organizations have pointed to the complicity and responsibility of the Algerian authorities in the exactions, abuses and serious human rights violations committed by the henchman of the polisario in the Tindouf camps.