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Algerian lawyers strike against tax rises

Algerian lawyers stage a protest march against the candidacy of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika for a fifth term in Algiers, Algeria on 7 March 2019 [Farouk Batiche/Anadolu Agency]
Algerian lawyers protest against the candidacy of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika for a fifth term in Algiers, Algeria on 7 March 2019 [Farouk Batiche/Anadolu Agency]

Algerian lawyers held on Wednesday a one-day strike across the country’s courts in opposition to new taxes approved by the General Budget Law of 2020.

This comes in response to the call of Algeria’s National Bar Association, which includes more than 50 thousand lawyers, to boycott the administrative work and organise protests in front of the courts throughout the country.

The Public Budget Law of 2020 included increases in the taxes imposed on lawyers, amounting to 52 per cent of the lawyer’s gross income, and the pension fund contributions

The taxes imposed on lawyers were previously ranging around 27 per cent, 12 per cent of which were income tax, and 15 per cent as annual contributions to the pension fund.

According to Anadolu Agency correspondent, dozens of lawyers organised a protest rally in the lobby of the Judicial Council of Algiers.

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In media statements on the sidelines of the protest, a member of the bar association in the capital, Shayb Sadiq, said that the included increase in taxes imposed on lawyers in the General Budget Law, approved by the previous government, is rejected.

Sadiq stressed that lawyers are demanding the President of the Republic, the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Finance to stop these unfair measures against them.

Various courts throughout Algeria have witnessed similar protests in response to the bar association’s call, according to photos and videos posted on social media platforms and local media.

The protesting lawyers raised slogans calling for the suspension of the new procedures, which would make the lawyer a “commercial profession” as they put it.

On the other part, the authorities have nevertheless issued any comments on the strikes.

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