Algeria Proscribes Opposition Movements as Terrorist Groups

Algerian authorities have labelled separatist group MAK and one opposition movement as terrorist organisations.

According to the High Council for National Security, the Movement for the Autonomy of Kabylie (MAK) and the Rachad opposition group are illegal and terrorist entities.

The Algerian authorities in April accused MAK of planning attacks during the anti-government protests in the streets of Algiers. Algerian authorities also accused the group of having separatist aims and anti-Arab sentiment

Mak leader, Ferhat Mehenni, on Wednesday denounced the Algerian government’s “obsession” to qualify the organisation as a terrorist group.

Mehenni also denounced the police holding him in custody for a few hours as part of an investigation for money laundering in an organised gang.

He remarked that “the MAK is not a terrorist organization and will never commit acts of violence. If there is violence, it can only be done by the Algerian services.”

The Rachad group is based in London and is an opposition political movement, which calls for a regime change in Algeria.

Members of these groups will now be convicted under a new law that punishes any Algerian joining an organisation abroad that “damages the interests of the country”.

Ahead of the legislative elections scheduled for June 12, the Algerian authorities are facing the challenge of popular protests and calls for a boycott of the elections.

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