The Administrative Court of Algiers dissolved the Algerian League for the Defence of Human Rights (LADDH), an NGO founded in 1985 and close to the Hirak protest movement. Although the ruling was issued on 29 June 2022, it was not disclosed until 20 January 2023. The hearing was held in the absence of LADDH’s members and their lawyers, and the ruling was not directly communicated to LADDH. The legal proceedings responded to a complaint filed by the Interior Ministry accusing LADDH of engaging in ‘provocative activities.’ The ruling also suggests that LADDH submitted false reports to international organizations about freedom of association in Algeria. LADDH has denounced the repression of protests in Algeria, as well as the banning of civil society and human rights organizations in recent years. LADDH is the latest organization targeted by the authorities’ campaign against independent civil society.
On 24 December, Algerian authorities arrested Ihsane El-Kadi, a prominent journalist and director of Radio M and the Maghreb Emergent website, seen as Algeria’s last outlets for independent news. El-Kadi is known to be an outspoken critic of the military regime and one of Algeria’s most influential voices. This is the latest measure in the sustained crackdown on opposition by Algerian authorities since the Hirak protest movement in 2019-21, and the “culmination of a long persecution and endless judicial harassment" according to Reporters Without Borders.
Algerian authorities launched an investigation into the enforced disappearances of activists missing since October. This is the latest incident in a worrying array of human rights violations in Algeria, where hundreds of activists and protesters have been arbitrarily detained, and dozens were subjected to torture and other ill-treatment at the hands of the security forces. Amnesty International has raised concerns and urged the government to ensure an effective and impartial investigation as serious human rights violations in Algeria have been spreading and escalating, and security forces responsible for these violations continue in impunity.
Algeria’s former Interim Prime Minister, Noureddine Bedoui, was arrested on 23 August. Bedoui faces charges of corruption, mismanagement and violating the laws of public procurement during his tenure as the Governor of Constantine. Last year, the Algiers Judicial Council issued a 15-year prison sentence for former Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia and a 12-year sentence for former Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal, charged with misappropriation of public funds, abuse of power and granting undue privileges. Events were regarded as a positive step by pro-democracy activists demanding an overhaul.