The Algerian government has ratified all UN Human Rights Conventions since 1960, although the situation has improved little over the last few years. In Algeria there are substantial restrictions on freedom of association and assembly; serious controls on freedom of expression and of the press; official impunity; over-use of pre-trial detention; substandard prison conditions; prisoner abuse; restrictions on freedom of movement; violence and discrimination against women; limited workers’ rights.
Most troubling for any journalist working in Algeria, is the recent government Law forcing journalists to disclose the sources of their published articles critical of the regime.
Algerian authorities increasingly resorted to criminal prosecutions against bloggers, journalists, and media figures for peaceful speech, using articles in the penal code criminalising “offending the president, the Armed Forces” and “insulting state officials”. Labour activists who organised or called for peaceful demonstrations were charged for “unauthorized gathering”.
On the 15th November 2020, Mr Anis Rahmani, the owner of Algerian Ennahar TV, which calls itself the first independent news channel in Algeria, and a major Algerian Media group, who had close ties with former President Bouteflika, was jailed for 5 years in prison on several charges of “insulting the army after recording and broadcasting a phone call with an intelligence officer”, reported Ennahar website, “defamation of the army”, “blackmail to gain undue advantage”, “breach of Exchange regulations” and “holding foreign bank accounts”.
The government does not tolerate any outside organisation who criticises its human rights record. In November 2019, the European Parliament condemned Algeria’s poor human rights record and the Algerian government in turn condemned the European Parliament for interfering in Algerian internal affairs.
On 25 November 2020, the European Parliament issued its strongest yet condemnation against Algeria for its poor human rights record. The European Parliamentarians demanded the immediate release of 90 Hirak movement prisoners, as well as all journalists in prison. The European Parliament requested European Commission members to give full support to Civil Society in Algeria.