More than 400 arrested in Algeria at rally demanding reforms

A human rights activist says more than 400 people have been arrested during a pro-democracy protest that brought thousands of people onto the streets of the Algerian capital.

More than 400 arrested in Algeria at rally demanding reformsALGIERS, Algeria (Ahlul Bayt News Agency) – A human rights activist says more than 400 people have been arrested during a pro-democracy protest that brought thousands of people onto the streets of the Algerian capital.Ali Yahia Abdenour says women and foreign journalists were among those arrested during Saturday’s demonstration, which came a day after mass protests toppled Egypt’s autocratic leader.

Abdenour, who heads the Algerian League for the Defense of Human Rights, said some 28,000 security forces were deployed in Algiers to block the march and disperse the crowds.

Organizers of the march said 10,000 people turned out, but officials put the turnout at only 1,500.

Thousands of Algerians defied a government ban on protests and a massive deployment of riot police to march in the capital Saturday, demanding democratic reforms just a day after the same demands toppled Egypt’s authoritarian leader. Continue reading

Algeria opposition to hold protest, which officials have banned; possible clashes between police and demonstrators

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Many demonstrators in Algeria have been inspired by the events unfolding in Egypt and Tunisia

[Some have raised a question:  if the people’s victory in Egypt is not secure, then it is both real and illusory, and cannot be contained or consolidated in one country, but must be seen as an episode in the unraveling of an imperial matrix with many dangerous opportunities across the Arab world which can only be seized and won on an internationalist and Pan-Arab basis.  This is a debate that accompanies the power which is now finding its manifestation in the streets. — Frontlines ed.]

12 Feb 2011

Many demonstrators in Algeria have been inspired by the events unfolding in Egypt and Tunisia [AFP]

Thousands of police in riot gear were in position in the centre of the Algerian capital to stop a planned pro-democracy demonstration that could mimic the uprising which forced out Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.  Continue reading

Algeria: Government denies any rights, spurring movement for democratic rights

Algeria warns opposition against banned protest

By AOMAR OUALI
Associated Press

ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — The Algerian government warned Wednesday it will be the opposition’s fault if a pro-democracy protest later this month turns violent.

Opposition leaders, human rights groups, unions, students and jobless workers are planning a march Feb. 12 in Algiers, the capital. They want the government to lift the state of emergency that has been in effect since 1992, end its ban on new political parties and generally be more transparent.

But Deputy Prime Minister Nouredine Yazid Zerhouni reminded organizers Wednesday that the march is “officially banned.” Continue reading

With protests in several Middle East countries, there are also now fears for Algeria, Yemen and Syria

A demonstrator reacts in Tahrir Square in Cairo today. There are fears that the protests will spread

Wednesday 02 February 2011

By Harriet Alexander, The Telegraph (UK)

Algeria

President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who has ruled the country since 1999, was elected on the promise to end the violence that had plagued the country for much of its history since independence from France in 1962.

To a certain extent he has succeeded, and after years of political upheaval the country is beginning to emerge as a centre of enterprise, heavily assisted by the country’s huge oil and gas reserves. It has estimated oil reserves of nearly 12 billion barrels, attracting strong interest from foreign oil firms. Continue reading