Algeria: ITUC Demands Release of Jailed Union Official

The ITUC has denounced the imprisonment of Algerian trade union official Kaddour Chouicha, a member of the Executive of trade union centre CGATA, and called for repression against CGATA to end.

Chouicha was detained on 9 December when he attended a police station to recover his mobile phone which police had taken from him at a previous demonstration. Within a few hours, he was summarily sentenced to a one-year prison sentence. Previously, on 3 December, CGATA offices were closed by the authorities.

“The arbitrary imprisonment of a union leader for simply making public statements and social media posts in favour of democracy is a flagrant violation of Algeria’s obligations to respect freedom of association, and is a deeply troubling indictment of those in power. He must be released immediately, with all the spurious charges against him dropped, and the repression of CGATA’s legitimate right to represent working people has to cease. Stifling freedom of association and freedom of expression cannot be part of Algeria’s future,” said ITUC General Sharan Burrow.