Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Two years after the Hirak, Algeria is experiencing a “huge setback” in terms of freedoms (opponent)


monday, 22 february, 2021 at 13:51

Algiers – Two years after the outbreak of Hirak, a protest movement against the fifth term of deposed President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, Algeria is experiencing a “huge setback” in terms of freedoms, denounced the president of the “Rassemblement Actions Jeunesse” (RAJ) , Abdelouahab Fersaoui.

“Unfortunately, the situation has not changed (..) in terms of freedoms and human rights. There is a huge decline ”, said this ex-detainee of the hirak in an interview with the newspaper“ Liberté ”.

He explained that two years later, the reasons which made millions of Algerians leave the streets are still there with a deep and multidimensional crisis, a crisis on three levels: political, economic and social.

The president of RAJ also mentioned the closure of the political and media field as well as that of the public space, while the police and judicial harassments against the militants and the Hirakists have multiplied.

“Added to this are endemic unemployment and the deterioration of purchasing power”, he observed, explaining that the power has made the country lose two years and it continues in its stubbornness and its policy of fait accompli. by imposing, in a unilateral and antipopular manner, its roadmap based on the organization of elections despite popular rejection as was the case on December 12 and November 1, 2020.

“More than ever, the government must realize the failure of its agenda”, he insisted, warning that in this way, the regime in place “will lead the country straight into the wall”.

The president of the RAJ explained that the continuation of the arrests is a consequence of the security management advocated by the authorities to manage the Hirak.

“We are awaiting the release of all the detainees at the national level as well as their acquittal and their rehabilitation because they are innocent”, launched Mr. Fersaoui, recalling that the Algerians have already lived the same scenario on January 2, 2020 when 76 detainees had been released the same day.

“But, that did not prevent the arrest of other Hirakists a few days later,” he lamented.

Returning to the decision to organize early elections, he noted that “this cannot constitute a solution to the deep and structural crisis that the country is going through”.

“The electoral agenda imposed by the government has already shown its limits”, he said, recalling that since the movement of October 1988, Algeria has organized dozens of elections at all levels, but without that it brings about the desired change.

“Democracy is not reduced only to the act of putting a ballot in the ballot box, it is a daily exercise of freedoms and rights”, noted Mr. Fersaoui.

For the reshuffle of the government, he estimated that this operation will not change anything, because no government or no minister will be able to change things under this system.

He said he was “afraid” that “this is just a diversion on the occasion of the 2nd anniversary of Hirak”, deploring a situation which “unfortunately has not changed”.

Two years after the eruption of the popular movement, the government must stop its stubbornness and listen to the people, he advocated, believing that for the Hirak, the next step is political par excellence.

“The resumption of peaceful marches is important to maintain the pressure, but it is not enough. With the social crisis, the people are looking for a horizon, which is why we must give new life and a political extension to popular demonstrations ”, he added.

Returning to the dialogue with the authorities, he indicated that it is impossible “in a context where the political field and the public space are closed, the media field locked and where Algerians risk prison for their opinions”.

“The dialogue must focus on the process of peaceful and comprehensive change of the regime, not on a law or an election,” he said.

And to rejoice that despite the various attempts to divide it, to normalize it and to deviate from its objective, the Hirak showed that he was still alive during the march of Kherrata on February 16 which, according to him, reflects the commitment and determination of the Algerian people to continue their peaceful struggle to regain their freedom and recover their sovereignty.



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