Algeria’s President sung his praises of the country’s judicial system on November 6, reports Asharq Al-Awsat and agencies.
Abdelmadjid Tebboune turned his attention to the judiciary’s work in combating against crime and corruption.
During the opening of the judicial year 2023-24, the country’s leader called on the legal system to be completely effective and to tackle any attempt to undermine justice.
The President noted that, “I would like to express the state’s appreciation for the efforts of the judiciary in protecting rights and combating crime and corruption. I also salute the commitment of all judges to faithfully and loyally fulfill their responsibilities,”.
Despite Tebboune’s kind words, many around the globe feel that Algeria and neighbouring countries have been arresting people on politically motivated charges.
It has been reported that nearly 300 Algerians critical of the government have faced the full force of the law in recent times.
In a report published in 2021, two years after Tebboune being elected into office, by UK-based global human rights organisation Amnesty International, it notes that since 2007, the authorities have used and abused the Penal Code to convict journalists, activists, and defenders of human rights.
The report states that, “Despite guarantees of the rights to peaceful expression in the 2016 Constitution, Penal Code provisions criminalizing ‘offending,’ ‘insulting’ or ‘defaming’ public officials and institutions are still used to prosecute peaceful critics”.
Many will point to the case of Raouf Farrah, a Canadian-Algerian journalist and researcher who was handed a two-year prison sentence in late August for “publishing sensitive state information” for the purposes of “undermining state security”.
Farrah was trialed on August 29 in Constantine, a major city in Algeria’s northeast as human rights organisation declared that his arrest was political.
Asharq Al-Awsat/ Agencies