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Algeria blasts Amnesty’s ‘unfounded allegations’

February 27, 2018 at 1:19 pm

Image of an Amnesty International rally, 28 July 2017 [Richard Potts/Flickr]

The Algerian government has blasted the “lack of objectivity” from Amnesty International (AI) in its latest human rights’ report and noted its “astonishment” and regret at the “unfounded allegations” which only “mechanically reproduce” obsolete stereotypes.

In the report, Amnesty highlighted several human rights violations in Algeria and denounced the arbitrary imprisonment of peaceful protesters, human rights defenders, activists and journalists. The human rights organisation also raised the issue of how Ahmadiyya Muslims are allegedly treated in the country and the “mass expulsions of migrants” in a nod to last year when thousands of sub-Saharan migrants living in squalid camps in and around the capital were expelled to Niger and Mali.

Amnesty’s Algeria Director, Hassina Oussedik, highlighted in a press conference for the report’s release, the “arrests of people who have peacefully demonstrated against unemployment or about public services.”

Read: Algeria medics condemn ‘witch hunt’ by authorities against them

Algeria has dismissed the claims in the report as “unfounded allegations” in a statement issued on Sunday by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in which it accused the NGO of “mechanically reproducing outdated stereotypes” and providing “partial assessments and simplistic conclusions” in the opinion of the Algerian government.

The authorities have described these “allegations”, relating to the exercise of various rights, as “wrongdoing” to which “Amnesty International unfortunately accused us”.

The government believes that the same report’s “lack of coherence” is due to the “amateurism” of Amnesty and reiterated its determination “to promote human rights, combat any stereotypes and misconceptions that distort the perception of human rights”.

Oussedik also highlighted the recent case of protesting medics over the last few weeks and the police crackdown that took place outside the Mustapha-Pasha University Hospital Centre (CHU) last month following almost four months of strikes demanding better quality of work and rights.