Algeria-USA Relations : News

U.S. Department of State underlines Algeria´s advances in human rights promotion

APS - 14 April 2016

WASHINGTON- The U.S. Department of State underlined Wednesday the positive advances in the promotion of human rights in Algeria, noting the improvement of political participation and the progress made in freedom of expression and the representation of women within elected assemblies.

In its 2015 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices in the world, published in Washington on Wednesday, the Department of State highlighted the transparency that characterized the presidential elections of 2014, organized in presence of several hundred international election observers of the United Nations, the Arab League, the African Union and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

The report added that the elections were "largely peaceful," according to the observation missions.

Women participation in political life, which is one of the cornerstones of democracy, has significantly improved in Algeria, said the report.

Female representation within elected assemblies has exceeded 30 percent required by the law, said the report, adding that out of the 462 candidates elected to Parliament in 2012, 147 were women, i.e. 31 percent.

Four women held seats in the cabinet with the portfolios of national education, telecommunications, national solidarity, and handicrafts with the latter being a minister-delegate, added the Department of State.

As regards freedoms and the respect for the integrity of persons, the report noted that "there were no reports of politically motivated disappearances" in Algeria, and hailed the improvement of detention conditions of prisoners. "Prison and detention centre conditions generally met international standards," said the report.

The Algerian Government allowed the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) and local human rights observers to visit prisons and detention centres, said the Department of State.

According to the law, the Police must obtain a summons from the Prosecutor's Office to require a suspect to appear in a police station for preliminary questioning, and cannot arrest without a warrant unless they witness the offense, added the report.

The Department of State also noted the progress in freedom of press in Algeria, were "many civil society organizations, government opponents and political parties have access to independent print and broadcast media and used them to express their views."

"Access to the internet was generally unimpeded," noted the Department of State, adding that Algerian citizens use it to express their views without restriction.?

The report also hailed Algeria's actions for refugees. The government provided protection to about 165,000 Sahrawi refugees, as well as to other refugees, whose lives or freedoms would be threatened upon their return to their country of origin.