As French president Emmanuel Macron gears up to visit Algeria on August 25, human rights organizations run by the Algerian diaspora community have sent an open letter to the president requesting him ‘not to ignore’ the human rights violations in the country.
Thirteen NGOs – including Debout l’Algérie, Citizen Action for Algeria, Groupe Algérie Droit Devant, the Collective of Families of Disappeared in Algeria or the Coordination of Algerians of the World – sent an open letter to Macron on Saturday, imploring him to take notice of the dire human rights status in Algeria.
“Mr President, there is nevertheless a serious subject which should not be overlooked during this visit: that of the current state of human rights in Algeria,” read the letter, as per AFP.
The letter went on to highlight the prosecution of journalists and politicians who were critical of Algiers’ new president Abdel Majid Tebboun, and claimed the ‘repressive policy’ had sabotaged the Hirak Movement. It is believed that authorities are holding at least 280 activists and dozens of journalists in detention because of their pro-Hirak stance on social media. The Algerian government, however, denies having any prisoners of conscience.
Macron’s visit on Thursday is said to be an olive branch trip in a bid to remedy the growing tensions his statements in October caused. In October 2021, Macron’s e-mails were leaked in which he had said that Algeria was ruled by a ‘political-military regime’, and dismissed Algeria’s colonial history, saying it had been ‘totally re-written’. Following this, Algeria recalled its ambassador to Paris. Algeria has had a troubled relation with France, owing to a gruesome 132-year long occupation and colonization.