EU Parliament condemned Algeria’s Human Rights
EU Parliament, on Thursday, May 11, 2023, passed a resolution condemning the Government of Algeria for its violations of freedoms and human rights. The Resolution [2203/2261(RSP)] stated clearly that the Algerian Government must immediately release all the political activists, political opponents, and journalists imprisoned at random and indiscriminately.
This resolution was approved almost unanimously where 536 members of the EU Parliament voted for it. Only 18 members abstained from voting, and only 4 members did not vote “yes,” for it. Following the ratification of this resolution, the European Parliament adopted a statement calling on the Algerian regime to release all journalists and all political dissidents detained without serious charges.
This resolution was announced and applied in reference to the case of journalist Ihsane El Kadi. El Kadi is a founding member and director of the editorial unit of online radio station Radio M and of the information website Maghreb Émergent, two independent media outlets. He was arrested by the Algerian police in December 2022. In April 2023, he was sentenced to a five-year prison term. His accusations were “having received funds for political propaganda,” and for “harming the security of the state.”
No doubt, this recent European Parliament condemnation of Algeria is a serious blow to the repressive policies of Algerian officials. It demanded from “the Algerian authorities to amend the Penal Code’s security-related clauses that are used to criminalize freedom of expression, including Articles 95bis and 196bis, and to align laws limiting freedom of expression with international human rights standards, particularly the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which Algeria has ratified.”
In principle, the EU Parliament has repeated its worries over the worsening of the human rights conditions in Algeria. It denounced the absence of media freedom in that country since the outbreak in early 2019 of the Hirak political and social movement and trend there. Moreover, the European Parliament urged all the pan-European organizations to “openly condemn the crackdown on media freedom in Algeria.”
That European Parliament resolution on Algeria was comprehensive. It mentioned that Algeria ranks very low in the freedom of the media worldwide ranking. Algeria ranks number 136 out of 180 countries according to the standards of the respect for the freedoms of expression. It also enumerated how many times the EP has warned Algeria against its human rights’ poor records.
The resolution stressed the fact that the Algerian Government must “guarantee visa and accreditation authorization to foreign journalists,” and to ensure “their freedom to operate.” The resolution had a very courageous overtone by requiring that such a political ruling be translated into Arabic. Therefore, members of the European Parliament wanted the Algerian people to be aware of their worries over the deteriorating situations of freedoms, liberties, and human rights in their country. The meaning of the European Parliament verdict on Algeria is that human rights will now be a priority for Europe in how it will be dealing with Algeria.
That EU Parliament decision was welcomed by many political observers. Reporters Without Borders expressed its support if it. It issued a statement saying that “with this resolution, the European Parliament has shown that it has no intention of remaining silent about the repression of Algeria’s remaining independent media, despite the fact that Algeria is an important economic partner”.
The statement added that, “with Ihsane El Kadi’s appeal due to be heard in the coming days, we urge the European Commission and EU member states to do everything possible to ensure that this journalist recovers his freedom. The Algerian authorities need to realize that muzzling the media is a dangerous path that, in the long run, will not be to their advantage.”
In addition, there is a political precedent for this resolution. The EU Parliament (EP) adopted a resolution on November 28, 2022, calling on the Algerian authorities to end the repression and move towards a democratic solution. It stipulated the following, “the EP strongly condemns the arbitrary and unlawful arrest and detainment of attacks on and intimidations of journalists, trade unionists, lawyers, students, human rights defenders and civil society and all peaceful protesters.”
In conclusion, while the profession of journalism seeks to uphold and affirm the truth, the Algerian Government wants journalists to be truth-deniers and cheer the abuses of a failed dictatorship.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Newslooks.com