ITUC Demands Release of Algerian Trade Unionists

The ITUC has demanded the immediate release of 9 Algerian independent trade unionists who were arrested by security forces in a 6am raid on a hotel where they were staying, on 21 March.

The nine, including the President of the SNATEGS union, which is affiliated to the ITUC member organisation CGATA, were preparing to take part in a national march from the state-owned SONELGAZ energy group.

Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary, said “once again, independent trade unionists in Algeria are facing state repression, this time for involvement in a peaceful march. We call on the government of Abdelaziz Bouteflika to ensure the immediate release of those who were arrested and to cease the systematic repression of independent unions.”

During the raid, police vehicles blocked the roads into the city of Tizi Ouzou and stopped buses and cars bringing people to the march. Union banners and posters were also seized by the police.