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Jurist HRW report: Algeria authorities urged to drop efforts to dissolve prominent civil society group

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Nov 11, 2016
Five international rights groups are urging Algerian authorities to drop their effort to dissolve a prominent civil society group over alleged violation of the law on associations, Human Rights Watch stated in a report on Monday. The five rights organizations are Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the Cairo Institute of Human Rights Studies, the International Federation of Human Rights, and MENA Rights Group.

On September 29, the court of Bir Mourad Rais in Algiers examined a petition to dissolve the Rassemblement Action Jeunesse (RAJ), also known as the Youth Rally Action. The petition claimed that the group’s political activities violated the purposes set forth in its own bylaws. Leaders of RAJ denied the charge and said that authorities targeted the association due to its support of the pro-democracy Hirak movement.

Eric Goldstein, the acting Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch, said: “eeking to outlaw one of the foremost civil society associations on spurious grounds is yet another attempt to crush the Hirak . . . [T]his move comes amid ongoing arbitrary arrests and prosecutions of activists and journalists and roundups of protesters.”

Human Rights Watch stated that RAJ was created in 1992 to “promote cultural activities, human rights and the values of citizenship.”

RAJ President Abdelouahab Fersaoui told Human Rights Watch: “[T]he Interior Ministry’s accusation that RAJ violated the law is based on the everyday public activities that RAJ has carried out during the Hirak, such as forums, debates, and citizen initiatives . . . alongside millions of Algerians in order to find a unifying and consensual way out of the crisis.”

On October 13, an administrative court is set to issue a ruling on the case against the Interior Ministry against RAJ.

The post HRW report: Algeria authorities urged to drop efforts to dissolve prominent civil society group appeared first on JURIST - News - Legal News & Commentary.

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