Algeria: Stop Mass Arrests!

Algeria, Migration and Asylum, Press Release

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While Algeria is being examined from 9 to 11 April 2018 by the UN Committee on the rights of all migrant workers and members of their family, mass arrests have been conducted yesterday in Oran. EuroMed Rights and the National Autonomous Union of Public Administration Staff (SNAPAP/CGATA), which are currently attending the 28th session of the UN Committee on the rights of all migrant workers, denounce such illegal and arbitrary practices, which must cease immediately.

After the vast deportation operation of migrants from Sub-Saharan countries launched by the gendarmerie and the police force in Oran at dawn yesterday morning, our organisations fear that these people will most likely and imminently be brought to the border and collectively deported. Our organisations recall that these practices are in breach of all international treaties that Algeria ratified. Algerian authorities must ensure a human treatment for these people in full respect of their international obligations.

In addition, our organisations deplore the ban for NGOs and journalists to access the center of Bir El Djir, where these migrants are detained. In total, about 300 people of various nationalities (including Niger, Ivory Coast, Liberia and Cameroon), among whom dozens of women and children, were gathered in this center.

EuroMed Rights and the SNAPAP also denounce the prohibition for the people rounded up and their relatives to recover their personal belongings. This text message sent by one of the arrested migrant detained in the `gathering` site resonates as a cry of despair:

“Never have Algerians been so mistreated (like stray dogs). Please note that we are neither criminals nor second-rank people. We are people facing issues in their countries and who entertain the hope for a more serene or more stable life outside of their respective countries”.

We urge the competent bodies of the United Nations, and in particular the Committee for all migrant workers, the Human Rights Committee of the United Nations, as well as the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, to denounce these practices at once.