The junta’s assaults and repression against the Hirak (Algerian popular movement) in recent weeks have intensified and taken many forms, including large-scale arbitrary arrests, violence, harassment and sexual assaults against Hirak activists. The youth and the elderly, men and women from all sections of society, and in particular students, journalists and political activists, including members of the Rachad movement, have all been targeted.
This repressive push has been conducted conjointly with a propaganda campaign maligning Hirakis, including associations, parties, movements and individuals at home and abroad, vilifying them as traitors, negating their patriotism and portraying them as “stooges of foreigners”, as well as stigmatising them as “violent” and even “close to terrorism”. All the state’s capabilities have been harnessed for this task by a junta, which has mobilised its security arm and its media, academic, administrative and judicial networks, and which is supported abroad by powers and regimes that oppose a democratic transition in Algeria.
Since its inception in February 2019, the Hirak has been fully committed to the principles of nonviolence and unity, as the whole world has witnessed. It is this corrupt regime, lacking any shred of legitimacy, that is seeking to change the strategy of dealing with this popular movement, which has proven its steadfastness for a third year running. Its commitment to nonviolence and unity has exhausted the ruling junta, which now resorts to intimidation tactics – escalating arbitrary arrests, torture and driving activists underground – to push the people, the youth in particular, towards violence. This strategy was used in the past by the same irresponsible military junta that drove the country into a dark tunnel. In the coming weeks and until the farcical June elections are over, it is probable that the country will witness an aggravation of the generals’ harassment of the Hirak, especially through the fabrication of judicial cases they regard as backing their propaganda.
The junta must understand that the Algerian people are now too aware to be deceived by its inanities, such as the poorly produced Dahdouhi series, which aims to promote violence within Algerian society to deprive citizens from their rights to protest peacefully. The regime would bear sole responsible for any act of violence that may result from its Machiavellian tactics against the Hirak.
The popular movement (Hirak) is committed to nonviolence and is dedicated to maintaining the unity and sovereignty of the Algerian people. It is determined to continue its peaceful and civilised struggle until the establishment of the rule of law in the country, despite the nonsense of this junta that has lost its mind and become an imminent threat to the Algerian state.
April 28, 2021