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Algeria condemned for migrant round-up in capital

Algerian forces carry out a security operation [Algérie24‏/Twitter]

Algerian NGOs have condemned the authorities’ recent roundup of sub-Saharan migrants in the capital Algiers, according to the Algerian League for the Defence of Human Rights (LADDH) and the National Autonomous Union of Personnel of the public administration (SNAPAP).

According to LADDH, 300 migrants, including 10 children, were part of the roundup and detained by plain-clothed law enforcement officers before being transferred to the Ahmed Tata Zéralda detention camp.

Many of those detained had entered the country illegally but a few had arrived legally through the Houari Boumediène airport.

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“The police refused to recognise their status of “regular visitors” as they do not recognise those with a refugee card issued by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Algiers”, SNAPAP added.

According to LADDH, the migrants have been “expelled to the borders with Mali and Niger” as of yesterday, with seven buses carrying a capacity of 50 passengers on them each. Volunteers from the Algerian Red Crescent and the psychological unit of the Ministry of National Solidarity were also present during the transfers.

Last year, Algeria was condemned for rounding-up hundreds of migrants living in squalid camps in the capital and for spreading false information of migrants carrying diseases and being criminals who would threaten the country’s security.