Ahead of Algeria’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR), the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy (TIMEP) and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) have issued a UPR Advocacy Fact Sheet that complements the alternative civil society report that the two organizations published in May 2022 per the UPR process.
The UPR is a mechanism of the United Nations created to examine the human rights performances of all UN member states; Algeria’s UPR is set to take place in November 2022.
Much like the alternative civil society report, the advocacy fact sheet traces the significant deterioration of press freedom in Algeria, particularly in the years following the Hirak mass demonstrations and the years following President Abdelmajid Tebboune’s win in a publicly contested election in December 2019. The fact sheet documents:
- The routine weaponization of overly-vague legal provisions under the Law on Information (Law No. 12-05), Penal Code, and a series of executive decrees and ordinances to criminalize freedom of expression;
- The targeting of foreign and local news outlets and websites reporting on the country’s political landscape, under the pretense of failing to comply with national broadcast licensing regulations and/or spreading false news, and the blocking of independent news websites reporting on protests in the country; and
- A rise in the detention and imprisonment of journalists on vague charges.
In an effort to comprehensively address the deterioration of press freedom in Algeria, this fact sheet proposes recommendations relevant to both the country’s legal framework and its violative practices.