EFA condemns the arrest of the World Amazigh Congress organizers and calls for an end to repression against the Amazigh people

Members of the organization committee of the World Amazigh Congress were arrested yesterday during the preparation of a summer school in the city of Tichy, in Kabylia. Co-president and heads of associations were released after several hours of custody at a police station. The activity planned was also prohibited by the Algerian authorities.

The European Free Alliance strongly denounces these arrests and the arbitrary ban on the activity programmed by this organization. This is yet another attack to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the Amazighs. EFA President Lorena López de Lacalle, who was meant to be one of the speakers of this summer university has said:

“The right to self-determination is enshrined in international law and must be respected for all peoples. The European Union cannot remain silent while the liberties of the Amazigh population are curtailed. We call on the European Commission to place equal importance on the enforcement of these democratic clauses as it currently does for implementation of free trade between Europe and its near neighbours.”

As a reminder, the EU-Algeria Association Agreement provides in its Article 2 that respect for democratic principles and fundamental human rights, as set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, inspires internal and international policies of the parties and constitutes an essential element of agreement.