20 February 2013

Algeria: Arrests 16 Protesters in Warqla and the Court Aborts the Workers Strike

press release

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI), strongly denounces the arrest of 16 protesters in Warqla province on the background of the closure of a workshop of exploration in the town. ANHRI is resented from the decision of the administrative court to abort the strike that the workers of the minister of foreign affairs wanted to organize to protest against the non-promotion and the low pay.

On February 14, 2013, the authorities arrested 16 protesters from the unemployed workers on the back ground of the closure of a workshop affiliated to the national company that concerned with oil exploration in Debish in Warqla as they were all sent to the public prosecution for investigation.

Previsoly, the protesters demand to be hired in the oil companies that obtain the authorizations for oil exploration in their towns according to the legislations related to oil exploration in Algeria regardless the bureaucratic complications.

On the other side, the administrative court in Algeria, issued a sentence stipulating that the strike that was called by the independent union for the workers of the foreign affairs on Saturday 16, 2013, as the administrative court issued a decision of evacuating the professional places of the ministry of foreign affairs from the workers under strike, in addition to aborting the strike. The workers under strike demands their rights to be promoted in the posts and to be hired in the senior positions in the central headquarter in addition to their demands related to raising the low payments, settling the position of the contracts and benefit from the grants that are approved by the ministry.

ANHRI said that "the arrest of the arbitrary arrest of the young demonstrators is a serious violation to the right to freedom of expression and it is an undermining of the freedoms that must be respected by the Algerian citizens".

ANHRI added that "the right to demonstrate which is guaranteed by the international charters and treaties, which were ratified by the successive governments of Algeria, as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the African Charter on Human Rights. Arresting such protesters is a clear violation to the treaties that Algeria is committed to by its own consent".

ANHRI also noted that authorities violated the right to strike after the administrative court issued a sentence of the illegality of the strike, which is a violation to the basic human rights.

ANHRI demands to release the 16 protester immediately and unconditionally in addition to guarantee the right of the workers to strike and rescind this flawed decision.

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