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In Algeria, the summer university of an association at the forefront of the dispute has been banned


The Rassemblement action jeunesse (RAJ) was to meet on August 28, 29 and 30 in the town of Tichy, some 200 kilometers east of Algiers.

Anti-Government demonstration in Algiers, August 23, 2019. Ramzi Boudina / REUTERS

Algerian authorities banned the summer school of the Rassemblement Action Jeunesse (RAJ) on Tuesday, August 27th, a grassroots citizen association in the unprecedented protest movement that Algeria has been witnessing since February 22, announced it . "The wilaya [prefecture] of Béjaïa has just banned the holding of the RAJ summer university originally scheduled for August 28, 29 and 30, 2019" in the locality of Tichy, about 200 kilometers east of Algiers, said the RAJ on its Facebook page.

The authorities have not motivated this decision, told AFP Abdelouhab Fersaoui, the president of the RAJ. "At the moment when power calls for dialogue, it prevents Algerians from meeting and debating. There is a desire to break the social dynamics that Algeria is experiencing, " regretted Mr. Fersaoui. Authorities also banned a meeting of opposition parties on Tuesday, according to a statement received by AFP. "The authorities have just notified us at 16:00 [15:00 GMT] of the unwarranted refusal to hold" a meeting scheduled for Wednesday, they said.

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These opposition parties, which established a "political pact for a genuine democratic transition" on June 26, include the Front des forces socialistes (FFS, the oldest opposition party, 14 deputies out of 462), the Workers' Party. (PT, far left, 11 deputies) and the Rally for Culture and Democracy (RCD, secular party, 9 deputies). "These repeated bans on the activities of political parties and civil society associations advocating for a democratic transition coincide with the virulent rhetoric of those in power who do not tolerate discordant voices , " they said.

Closed news sites

Fersaoui attributes the ban on the meeting of the RAJ to the opposition of his NGO - and many other civic associations - to the presidential election that wants to quickly organize the power to elect a successor to Abdelaziz Bouteflika, forced to resign by the street on April 2 after twenty years in power. "Any discordant voice compared to the official voice, that of real power embodied by the staff of the army, is not welcome," said Fersaoui.

On Monday, the army chief of staff, General Ahmed Gaïd Salah, strongman of the country since the resignation of Mr. Bouteflika, called for accelerating the organization of the presidential election. "The power does not show will to respond to the demands of the people. He only cares about passing his road map, which is the organization of the presidential election. But to organize the presidential election in the current state is only to maintain the " system " [to power] alive, " continued the chairman of the RAJ.

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In a statement, the Algerian League for the Defense of Human Rights (LADDH) denounced "these authoritarian practices contrary to the provisions of the Constitution and international conventions on human rights (...) guaranteeing the rights of s' to organize, to meet and to express oneself peacefully " . "These restrictions (...) are antithetical to the claims of the hirak [protest movement] which is clearly expressed for a rule of law respectful of freedoms," added LADDH.

Following the resignation of Bouteflika, the government promised opening measures to the press and associations. But since June, online news sites, whose tone is deemed critical of the authorities, are no longer accessible to Algerian Internet users. Particularly followed since the beginning of the protest movement against the regime, the online news site TSA ( All about Algeria ) can not be consulted in Algeria since June 12. The site is also inaccessible since July 25.

Source: lemonde

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