Algeria: Ongoing massacres of women

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Call on authorities to ensure protection of women in Hassi Messaoud!

For several WEEKS now, women have been subjected to murderous attacks in the South of Algeria; this has provoked international protests and calls for the intervention of the United Nations Special Rapporteurs. It is crucial that these initial protests are relayed and supported by a large number of organisations across the world. These events remind us of the tragic days of July 2001 which saw hundreds of women, “tortured, stoned, raped and buried alive”, as recalled by the Algerian press. Please also see WLUML Dossier 23-24: Algeria: Ordinary Fascism, Fundamentalism and Femicide.

Ten years later, these crimes go largely unpunished and women, in general, have not been able to rebuild their lives for lack of sustained material and financial support, but also while facing moral and legal challenges. Time has not healed this nightmare, and it has started again. Violence has flared up conducted by gangs of youth that, once again with impunity, are stealing from, beating, and torturing - mostly migrant - women, who work in the industrial and economic sectors of Hassi Messaoud. The majority of them are in hiding because they cannot leave their jobs: they need to provide for themselves and support their families.

 
Action needed: 

The undersigned organisations demand from the Algerian authorities that:

  • attacks against women workers in Hassi Messaoud and in the neighbouring areas are immediately stopped by all legal means available to the government to ensure the protection of women, including by the mobilisation of additional police forces
  • medical and psychological assistance be provided to the female victims of these attacks
  • their reintegration to their work be ensured, after due recovery time
  • investigations be immediately undertaken and the perpetrators brought to justice

call on civil society organisations to:

  • send urgent protests to the Algerian government regarding its inaction in the face of such crimes

as well as

  • to Algerian Embassies
  • to concerned UN Special Rapporteurs, i.e. Ms. Rashida Manjoo, Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences; Mr. Manfred Nowak, Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; Mr. Philip Alston, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions
  • and to the ILO
  • SIAWI - Secularism Is A Women’s Issue

    WICUR - Women’s Initiative for Citizenship and Universal Rights

    WLUML - Women Living Under Muslim Laws

Addresses: 

Son Excellence Monsieur Abdelaziz Bouteflika
Président de la République algérienne
ALGER
Algérie
President[at]el-mouradia.dz

Monsieur Tayeb Belaiz
Ministre de la Justice
8 Place de Bir-Hakem El-Biar
ALGER
Algérie
contact[at]mjustice.dz

Monsieur Amar Saadani
Président de l’Assemblée nationale populaire
8 boulevard Zirouf Youcef
16000 ALGER
Algérie
info[at]apn.dz.org

Ministre de l’Intérieur, Yazid Zerhouni : webmaster[at]interieur.dz

Cour Supreme : coursupreme[at]coursupreme-dz.org

And:

http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/chr/special/communications.htm ·
by fax to +41 22 917 90 06 ·
by e-mail to urgent-action[at]ohchr.org ·
or by post to: OHCHR-UNOG 8-14 Avenue de la Paix 1211 Geneve 10 Suisse

  • Mr. Philip Alston, Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions
  • Mr. Manfred Nowak, Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
  • Ms. Rashida Manjoo, Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences (cc. vaw[at]ohchr.org)
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