Algeria: Democracy Must Prevail

The ITUC has called for a peaceful solution to the political impasse in Algeria, with full respect for fundamental human rights including freedom of association, expression and assembly.

Large demonstrations in cities all over the country have been met with repression from security forces. The protests were mounted against the candidacy of ailing President Abdelaziz Bouteflika for a fifth term of office. Bouteflika, who initially took office in 1999, remains in a Geneva hospital where he was admitted on 24 February for “routine checks”.

“Respect for democratic values must be the way forward for Algeria, to find a political solution to the impasse which can address the severe problems facing the country including more than a quarter of young Algerians unemployed. Without such a solution, social unrest is unlikely to abate, and there is a real risk that those who seek to fuel violent fundamentalism will exploit the situation with potentially terrible consequences.

“We stand with our affiliate CGATA and all the trade unionists and Algerian people who are standing up for fundamental rights and democratic freedoms,” said ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow.

Further protests have been called for today, Friday 8 March.