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Growing repression of independent unions in Algeria

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The government of Algeria is increasingly clamping down on independent trade unions, according to a new Human Rights Watch report, through a combination of arrests and imprisonment, dismissals of public sector union activists and the increased use of bureaucratic and legal obstacles to forming unions and union federations. These measures have created "a climate of intimidation and fear that inhibits the development of independent trade unions" despite the adoption in 1990 of a law which in principle opened the path to establishing unions independent of the state-supported UGTA.

The repression extends as well to social activists fighting poverty and unemployment with the support of the independent unions. The report cites the arrest and expulsion in February this year of international participants who travelled to Algiers for the Maghreb Forum for the Fight Against Unemployment and Precarious Work.

The report is online here.

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