#Algeria : The Algerian authorities are stepping up the repression against Hirak militants in Kabylia, where the arrests of citizens and journalists are increasing. They are trying to install terror in the region to cut off any protest against the regime by arguing that they are fighting “terrorists”.
Taking advantage of the effects caused by the forest fires and the heinous assassination of Hirak activist Djamel Bensmail, the authorities and the military junta, who run the country, are trying to install terror in Kabylia by increasing the arrests against any person suspected of link with the Hirak movement and / or sympathy for a Kabyle obedience movement.
From now on, any dissenting voice in the region is stamped “terrorist”, because it is considered to be sympathetic to the Movement for the Self-Determination of Kabylia (MAK). Thus, every day, dozens of arrests are recorded in Tizi-Ouzou, Béjaïa, Kherrata, …
And to justify these arrests, the authorities advance their “implication” in the forest fires and / or in the assassination of Bensmail, while signaling that they are active within the MAK. And according to the authorities, “the investigation is still underway to flush out all those involved”, in these two events in which many gray areas remain as to the sponsors, the executors and the main beneficiaries.
For the moment, and before the investigations are completed, the main beneficiaries remain the regime and the military junta, which are taking advantage of the situation by increasing the number of arrests against supposed Hirak and MAK sympathizers that the authorities are trying to muzzle.
Among those arrested is Abdeslam Abdenour, an activist for the Amazigh cause, considered a founding member of the MAK.
In addition to citizens, media men are also targeted by this new wave of arrests that the authorities wish to target those who continue to resist the regime, after the end of the Hirak demonstrations in Algiers and in certain regions of the country. Indeed, the dispute remains alive at the level of Kabylia.
Thus, after the arrests of activists, the authorities try to silence the media with arrests and intimidation. Journalist and human rights defender Hassan Bouras, a member of the Algerian League for Human Rights (LADDH), was arrested on September 6 and was remanded in custody. He was charged with “belonging to a terrorist organization, apologizing for terrorism and conspiring against state security aimed at changing the system of governance”, according to lawyer Abdelghjani Badi. On the same day, his home in El Bayadh was searched.
Then the daily journalist Freedom, Mohamed Mouloudj, was arrested Sunday, September 12 with a search of his home. He is still in custody in Algiers. He is accused of having had contact with MAK President Ferhat Mehenni.
Currently, several hundred people linked to the pro-democracy protest movement Hirak or accused of being MAK sympathizers are in prison.
Faced with this repression, Algerian intellectuals launched a petition “Basta, we will not be silent”, to denounce the attempts of the authorities “to incriminate all of Kabylia”. In this petition, the authors denounce the power which “once again, fabricates and designates, without proven evidence, ‘internal enemies’ and argues with the ‘hand of the foreigner’ as sources of all evils and pretexts for more than political closure and repression ”.
It should be noted that after his failure to repress the Hirak in the Kabylian regions, the authorities intend to take advantage of the effects of the forest fires and the assassination of the activist Djamel Bensmail to settle accounts with the demonstrators in the regions of Kabylia who continue to protest against the regime, demanding a change in the system and the release of the Hirak detainees.
Therefore, they try to blame the fires and the assassination of Djamel Bensmail on Hirak supporters of Kabylia to divide the protest movement. From where the call of the intellectuals so that “that all the lights and justice be done – with the citizen participation – on the origin, the sponsors and the authors of the fires and the abject assassination of Djamel Bensmail”.