European Parliament worried about civil freedoms in Algeria

first_imgBordeaux- The Parliament is worried a new law concerning the right of association, thinking it restricts civil liberties in the country. During a press conference on Monday, Antonio Panzeri, head of a European Parliament delegation from the European Parliament called on Algeria to take further measures to improve civil liberties. “The authorities must do more to freedom of association, business associations and gender equality,” he declared, referring to a new law which, according to the opposition, limits the activities of associations. After the parliamentary elections of May 2012, a mission of 150 EU observers had criticized the election process, which was marked by “weaknesses” and “shortcomings”. Among other things, the observers had troubles accessing the National Electoral file that contains “sensitive” data, according to the Algerian authorities.“It is in the interest of Algeria that elections are free. The electoral register is a critical parameter. We want to settle this issue before the presidential election of April 2014”, he insisted. Algeria often faces accusations of fraud since the introduction of multiparty politics in 1989. During their stay, the MEPs said they discussed with representatives of civil society about trade union rights, the new law on associations and the issue of missing persons. Mr Panzeri referred in particular to the fate of thousands of persons who went missing during the civil war of the 1990s.According to official numbers, 200,000 individuals are still missing. “It is necessary that the Algerian authorities strongly commit to finding these people,” he said. The EP delegation also called for the revision of the law on associations, adopted in late 2011 by the Algerian Parliament.This law, passed in the context of political reforms by President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to prevent any contagion of the Arab Spring, banned Algerian associations from forming partnerships with foreign NGOs. It strengthens the state hegemony over civil society, according to opposition and human rights activists.This warning comes only days after Algeria accused Morocco of ignoring Human Rights in the Western Sahara, an allegation the Kingdom has condemned, saying Algiers is only trying to hide domestic tensions.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributedlast_img

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