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US Department Of State Defends Jews, LGBTI Rights In Algeria

Echoroukonline
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US Department Of State Defends Jews, LGBTI Rights In Algeria

US Department of State said Algeria did not record cases of torture or abduction of citizens outside the Algerian legal system, while 200 Algerian Jews were “subjected to abuse and discrimination and 100 to 200 women were killed in domestic violence”, then it defends LGBTI rights in Algeria.

It published its annual report, on Saturday, about the reality of human rights in the world and devoted 32 pages to Algeria.

The 2017 report confirmed that “there were no reports of disappearances before or on behalf of the government authorities”, and quoted the General Directorate of National Security as saying that it had not received reports of abuse or misconduct by citizens towards its employees.

US report was subjective when speaking about the situation of prisons, confirming that “There were no significant reports regarding the conditions of prisons or detention centers that raised human rights concerns”.

“The government allowed the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and local human rights observers to visit prisons and detention centers”.

“Authorities improved prison conditions to meet international standards. The Ministry of Justice’s Directorate of Penal Affairs and Pardons said that the government alleviated overcrowding by opening new detention centers during the year”.

In the field of ​​freedom of expression, the document stated that “The independent media outlets regularly criticized and satirized government officials and policies, but the government on some occasions restricted these rights”.

It mentioned the private media and social networks spaces that are used by activists and opposition; “Many civil society organizations, government opponents, and political parties, including legal Islamist parties, had access to independent print and broadcast media and used them to express their views. Opposition parties also disseminated information via the internet and published communiques but stated they did not have access to the national television and radio”.

In the area of academic and cultural freedom, the report addressed the religious book, saying: “The law gives the authorities broad power to ban books that run counter to the constitution, the Muslim religion and other religions, national sovereignty and unity, the national identity and cultural values of society, national security and defense concerns, public order concerns, and the dignity of the human being and individual and collective rights.”

Under the Antisemitism clause, the report claimed: “Some religious leaders estimated that the country’s Jewish population numbered fewer than 200 persons. Religious and civil society leaders reported that the Jewish community faced unofficial, religion-based obstacles to government employment and administrative difficulties when working with government bureaucracy”.

The report devoted ample space to what it called “Acts of violence, discrimination and other abuses based on sexual orientation and gender identity”, and claimed, “quoting LGBTI”:

“LGBTI activists reported that the vague wording of laws identifying “homosexual acts” and “acts against nature” permitted sweeping accusations that resulted during the year in multiple arrests for same-sex sexual relations but no known prosecutions. LGBTI persons were reportedly arbitrarily detained and physically and sexually abused by police officers during the year. Government officials did not take measures specifically to prevent discrimination against LGBTI persons. LGBTI persons faced discrimination in accessing health services. Some organizations maintained a list of “LGBTI-friendly” hospitals, and several NGOs operated mobile clinics specifically for vulnerable communities. Employers refused jobs to LGBTI persons, particularly men perceived as effeminate. Community members said that obtaining legal assistance was also a challenge due to similar discrimination. Members of the LGBTI community reported that forced marriage was a problem, particularly for lesbians”.

As for the authorities’ protection of refugees, the US State Department report said; “The government provided some protection against the expulsion or return of refugees to countries where their lives or freedom would be threatened because of their race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion”.

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