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Algeria: The authorities put a strain on CSOs .

February 19th 2019

Administrative blockages, seizure of bank accounts, prohibition of activities, pressure on employees, threats of dissolution ... Algerian CSOs denounce the new obstacles of Algerian authorities to prevent civil society from functioning.

On February 19, a dissolution lawsuit was planned to be filed by the governor of Skikda against the Renewable Energy and Sustainable Development Promotion Association (Bariq 21). The authorities consider that the latter's activities, such as the externally-funded partnerships as well as participation in international events, in particular the COP 23 in Germany, are contrary to law and to the statutes and mandate of the association itself. The day before the trial, however, the governor withdrew his complaint at the last minute.

On February 4, a group of associations (Djazairouna, FARD ORAN, LADDH, LADH, RAJA, SOS Disappeared, Tharwa Fadhma N’soumeur) expressed their solidarity with BARIQ 21. “We are concerned by this new escalation, and overwhelmed by recent statements by the Minister of Interior about a change of the law which is supposed to relax the work of the organizations”, the group said in a statement. “It is not an isolated case, but a declared war marked by multiple pressures, harassment against CSOs, and bans on their activities. In addition to a refusal to register or approve new CSOs, the government seeks the dissolution or freeze of autonomous associations.”

The new 2012 Law that came into effect in 2014 and is supposed to simplify administrative procedures has actually brought CSOs to a new approval procedure that has actually led to the disappearance of many CSOs, according to a 2018 report by the Algerian League for Defense of Human Rights.