The Human Truth Foundation

Human Rights, Equality and Freedom in Algeria

https://www.humantruth.info/algeria_human_rights_and_freedom.html

By Vexen Crabtree 2018

#Algeria #algeria_human_rights #equality #freedom #human_rights #islam #islamic_extremism #politics #tolerance

Algeria
People's Democratic Republic of Algeria

[Country Profile Page]
StatusIndependent State
Social and Moral Index118th best
LocationAfrica, The Mediterranean
Population42.2m1
Life Expectancy76.38yrs (2017)2

Algeria is amongst the worst places in the world at ensuring human rights and freedom, and it has severe cultural issues when it comes to tolerance and equality. Algeria does better than average in its nominal commitment to Human Rights3 and in speed of uptake of HR treaties4. But that's it. Algeria has problems. It does worse than average in terms of the rate of gender bias (from 7 indicators)5, opposing gender inequality6 (still good for Africa), supporting press freedom7 and in freethought8. And finally, it falls into the worst-performing 20 in its success in fighting anti-semitic prejudice9 (one of the worst in Africa), commentary in Human Rights Watch reports10, supporting personal, civil & economic freedoms11 (one of the highest in Africa) and in LGBT equality12. A strictly Islamic country, those who do not believe the right things (2011) are harassed, intimidated and persecuted13. Severe restrictions exist on religious freedom and freedom of belief. A wide range of legal measures are used to stifle free speech, especially anything that criticizes the government, its staff, or Islam14,15.


1. Algeria's Human Rights, Equality & Tolerance

#equality #gender_equality #human_rights #morals #politics #prejudice #tolerance

Compared to Africa (2020)16
Pos.Lower is better
Avg Rank16
1S. Africa56.1
2Seychelles66.7
3Namibia69.4
...
26Nigeria106.9
27Togo107.6
28Zambia108.6
29=Algeria111.0
30Egypt113.4
31Libya114.8
32Congo, (Brazzaville)115.0
33Cameroon115.2
34Guinea116.5
Africa Avg108.2
q=54.
Human Rights, Equality & Tolerance (2020)16
Pos.Lower is better
Avg Rank16
1Sweden9.0
2Norway14.5
3Denmark14.5
...
134Laos108.1
135Zambia108.6
136Maldives110.4
137=Algeria111.0
137=Indonesia111.0
139Uzbekistan111.1
140Bahrain112.7
141Bangladesh113.0
World Avg87.9
q=199.

The best countries in the world at ensuring human rights, fostering equality and promoting tolerance, are Sweden, Norway and Denmark17. These countries are displaying the best traits that humanity has to offer. The worst countries are The Solomon Islands, Somalia and Tuvalu17.

The data sets used to calculate points for each country are statistics on commentary in Human Rights Watch reports, its nominal commitment to Human Rights, speed of uptake of HR treaties, supporting personal, civil & economic freedoms, supporting press freedom, eliminating modern slavery, opposing gender inequality, the rate of gender bias (from 7 indicators), the year from which women could participate in democracy, its success in fighting anti-semitic prejudice, LGBT equality and freethought. The regions with the best average results per country are Scandinavia, Baltic States and Europe17, whereas the worst are Melanesia, Micronesia and Australasia17.

For more, see:

Despite constitutional amendments passed in 2016, Algerian authorities continued to resort in 2017 to criminal prosecutions for peaceful speech, using articles in the penal code criminalizing "offending the president," "insulting state officials," and "denigrating Islam" as well as other articles on sharing "intelligence with foreign powers." They have also continued to ban demonstrations in Algiers.

"World Report 2018" by Human Rights Watch (2018)18

2. Human Rights & Tolerance

2.1. Human Rights Watch Comments

#human_rights

Human Rights Watch Comments
Higher is better10
Pos.2017
Score10
1=UK9
1=France9
1=Germany9
...
105Ethiopia-7
106Russia-8
107=Turkmenistan-8
107=Algeria-8
107=Central African Rep.-8
110Myanmar (Burma)-9
111=Eritrea-9
111=Somalia-9
Africa Avg-5.6
World Avg-1.9
q=123.
In terms of commentary in Human Rights Watch reports, Algeria ranks 9th-worst in the world.

Human Rights Watch comments concentrate mostly on negative issues, however, they also make positive comments for those countries that engage in human rights defence around the world, or who make improvements at home. By adding up positive and negative comments (including double-points for negatives that involve large scales and crimes against humanity), the Social and Moral Index turns HRW commentary into quantified values. Some countries may be unfairly penalized because HRW have not examined them, and, some countries "get away" with abuses if they manage to hide it, or if it goes unnoticed - a negative point has been given for those countries in which HRW specifically state that access to investigators has been barred. The points were limited to a minimum of -10 because there are some points at which things are so bad, with abuses affecting so many, it is difficult to be more specific about the depths of the issues.

2.2. Nominal Commitment to HR

#human_rights

Nominal Commitment to HR
Higher is better3
Pos.2009
Treaties3
1Argentina24
2=Chile23
2=Costa Rica23
...
67Moldova18
68=Kyrgyzstan18
68=Philippines18
68=Algeria18
68=Malta18
68=Tunisia18
68=Niger18
68=El Salvador18
Africa Avg14.8
World Avg15.1
q=194.
Algeria ranks 66th in the world in terms of its nominal commitment to Human Rights.

There are many international agreements on human rights, and, many mechanisms by which countries can be brought to account for their actions. Together, these have been the biggest historical movement in the fight against oppression and inhumanity. Or, putting it another way: these are rejected mostly by those who wish to oppress inhumanely. None of them are perfect and many people object to various components and wordings, but, no-one has come up with, and enforced, better methods of controlling the occasional desires that states and peoples have of causing angst for other states and peoples in a violent, unjust or inhumane way. Points are awarded for the number of human rights agreements ratified by the country, plus the acceptance of the petition mechanisms for disputes. The maximum possible score in 2009 was 24.

2.3. HR Treaties Lag

#human_rights #international_law #micronesia #politics #small_islands

HR Treaties Lag
Lower is better4
Pos.2019
Avg Yrs/Treaty4
1Ecuador2.15
2Uruguay2.25
3Tunisia3.65
...
90S. Korea9.89
91Niger9.89
92Barbados9.94
93Algeria9.95
94St Vincent & Grenadines9.98
95Azerbaijan10.08
96Lebanon10.14
97Afghanistan10.23
Africa Avg9.88
World Avg10.02
q=195.
In terms of speed of uptake of HR treaties, Algeria ranks 93rd in the world.

Human Rights (HR) Treaties Lag is a count of how long it took each country to sign each of 11 key HR treaties. From the date of the first signatory of each treaty, all other countries have one point added to their score for each day they delayed in signing. Results are presented as average time in years to sign each one. The lower a country's score, the more enthusiastically it has taken on international Human Rights Treaties - which are, of course, minimal standards of good governance. The slowest are the countries of Micronesia, Melanesia, Australasia and Polynesia all lagged by over 12 years per treaty. The best regions are The Americas, Scandinavia and the Mediterranean.

For more, see:

2.4. Personal, Civil & Economic Freedom

#freedom #politics

Personal, Civil & Economic Freedom
Lower is better11
Pos.2014
Rank11
1Hong Kong1
2Switzerland2
3New Zealand3
...
149Guinea149
150Angola150
151Congo, DR151
152Algeria152
153Myanmar (Burma)153
154Venezuela154
155Central African Rep.155
156Syria156
Africa Avg114.2
World Avg79.7
q=159.
(one of the worst in Africa)Algeria comes 8th-worst in the world regarding supporting personal, civil & economic freedoms.

The Human Freedom Index published by the Fraser Institute is...

... a broad measure of human freedom, understood as the absence of coercive constraint. It uses 79 distinct indicators of personal and economic freedom in the following areas: Rule of Law, Security and Safety, Movement, Religion, Association, Assembly, and Civil Society, Expression, Relationships, Size of Government, Legal System and Property Rights, Access to Sound Money, Freedom to Trade Internationally, Regulation of Credit, Labor, and Business. [...]

The highest levels of freedom are in Western Europe, Northern Europe, and North America (Canada and the United States. The lowest levels are in the Middle East and North Africa, South Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa. [...]

Countries in the top quartile of freedom enjoy a significant higher per capita income ($37,147) [compared with] the least-free quartile [at] $8,700). The HFI finds a strong correlation between human freedom and democracy.

"The Human Freedom Index" by The Fraser Institute (2016)19

2.5. Press Freedom

#democracy #freedom #Freedom_of_Speech #Good_Governance #mass_media #politics #UK

Press Freedom
Lower is better7
Pos.20137
1Finland638
2Netherlands648
3Norway652
...
121Brunei3545
122Tajikistan3571
123S. Sudan3620
124Algeria3654
125Ukraine3679
126Honduras3692
127Afghanistan3736
128Colombia3748
Africa Avg3511
World Avg3249
q=178.
Algeria is 124th in the world regarding supporting press freedom.

The freedom to investigate, publish information, and have access to others' opinion is a fundamental part of today's information-driven world, and is linked with Freedom of Speech and Good Governance. Scores on the Press Freedom Index are calculated according to indicators including pluralism - the degree to which opinions are represented in the media, media independence of authorities, self-censorship, legislation, transparency and the infrastructure that supports news and information, and, the level of violence against journalists which includes lengths of imprisonments. The index "does not take direct account of the kind of political system but it is clear that democracies provide better protection for the freedom to produce and circulate accurate news and information than countries where human rights are flouted". The rankings are used as one of the datasets of the Social and Moral Development Index20

It must be noted that press freedom is not an indicator of press quality and the press itself can be abusive; the UK suffers in particular from a popular brand of nasty reporting that infuses several of its newspapers who are particularly prone to running destructive and often untrue campaigns against victims. The Press Freedom Index notes that "the index should in no way be taken as an indicator of the quality of the media in the countries concerned".

2.6. Slavery

#burundi #eritrea #france #human_rights #indonesia #slavery

Slavery
Lower is better
21
Pos.2018
% Victims21
1Japan0.03
2=Canada0.05
2=Taiwan0.05
...
52Jamaica0.26
53Mexico0.27
54=Colombia0.27
54=Algeria0.27
54=Barbados0.27
57China0.28
58=S. Africa0.28
59Slovakia0.29
Africa Avg0.96
World Avg0.65
q=167.
Algeria comes 53rd in the world with regard to eliminating modern slavery.

The taking of slaves has been an unwholesome feature of Human cultures since prehistory22. Private households and national endeavours have frequently been augmented with the use of slaves. The Egyptian and Roman empires both thrived on them for both purposes. Aside from labourers they are often abused sexually by their owners and their owners' friends23. The era of colonialism and the beginnings of globalisation changed nothing: the imprisonment and forced movements of labour continued to destroy many lives except that new justifications were invented based on Christian doctrine and the effort to convert non-Christians. By 1786 over 12 million slaves had been extracted from Africa and sent to colonial labour camps, with a truly atrocious condition of life24. But they were not the only ones to blame; in Africa internal nations such as the Asantes sold and bought tens of thousands of slaves25.

The abolition of the slave trade was a long and slow process. Until a relatively modern time, even philosophers, religious leaders and those concerned with ethics justified, or ignored, the problem of slavery26. The first abolitionists were always the slaves themselves. Their protests and rebellions caused the industry to become too expensive to continue. After that, it was the economic costs of maintain slave colonies that led the British to reject and then oppose the slave trade globally. Finally, the enlightenment-era thinkers of France encouraged moral and ethical thinking including the declaration of the inherent value of human life and human dignity27. A long-overdue wave of compassionate and conscientious movements swept across the West, eliminating public support for slavery, until the industries and churches that supported it had no choice but to back down.

'Modern slavery' includes forced labour (often of the under-age), debt bondage (especially generational), sexual slavery, chattel slavery and other forms of abuse, some of which can be surprisingly difficult to detect, but often target those fleeing from warzones and the vulnerable.28. Some industries (diamond, clothing, coal) from some countries (Burundi29, Eritrea29, Indonesia30) are a particular concern. The Walk Free Foundation, say that in 2016, 40.3 million people were living in modern slavery31.

For more, see:

3. Gender Equality

Algeria has made some steps towards ending gender inequality but much more needs to be done. Traditional Islamic beliefs are squarely the cause.

See:

3.1. Gender Inequality

#gender #gender_equality #human_rights #misogyny #women

Gender Inequality
Lower is better
6
Pos.20156
1Switzerland0.04
2Denmark0.04
3Netherlands0.04
...
91Kyrgyzstan0.39
92Brazil0.41
93Jamaica0.42
94Algeria0.43
95Botswana0.44
96Philippines0.44
97Samoa0.44
98Bolivia0.45
Africa Avg0.54
World Avg0.36
q=159.
Algeria is positioned 94th in the world with regard to opposing gender inequality.

The UN Human Development Reports include statistics on gender equality which take into account things like maternal mortality, access to political power (seats in parliament) and differences between male and female education rates. Gender inequality is not a necessary part of early human development. Although a separation of roles is almost universal due to different strengths between the genders, this does not have to mean that women are subdued, and, such patriarchalism is not universal in ancient history. Those cultures and peoples who shed, or never developed, the idea that mankind ought to dominate womankind, are better cultures and peoples than those who, even today, cling violently to those mores.

For more, see:

3.2. Gender Biases

#gender #gender_equality #prejudice #women

Gender Biases
Lower is better
5
Pos.2022
%5
1Sweden31.832
2New Zealand34.433
3Australia37.033
...
64Kuwait98.332
65Jordan98.533
66Burkina Faso98.634
67Algeria98.732
68Zimbabwe98.733
69Yemen98.732
70Azerbaijan98.732
71Ethiopia98.933
Africa Avg98.10
World Avg83.93
q=88.
Algeria is positioned 67th in the world regarding the rate of gender bias (from 7 indicators).

The Gender Social Norms Index (GSNI) looks at gender biases across seven criteria; the % given here is for the total people who are biased across any of those criteria. By subtracting the value from 100%, you can see that those who do well on this index, you are seeing a count of those who do not appear to be biased against women in any of the criteria, and so, doing well on this index is a very positive sign for any country.

The data was included in UN (2022) with full results in Annex table AS6.7.1; their data stems for ranges between 2005 and 2022, depending on the country in question.

3.3. Year Women Can Vote

#christianity #gender_equality #human_rights #politics #women

Year Women Can Vote
Lower is better
Pos.0
Year
1New Zealand1893
2Australia1902
3Finland1906
...
135=Zambia1962
135=Uganda1962
135=Monaco1962
135=Algeria1962
139Morocco1963
140=Iran1963
140=Kenya1963
140=Fiji1963
Africa Avg1961
World Avg1930
q=189.
Algeria ranks 135th in the world regarding the year from which women could participate in democracy.

Women now have equal rights in the vast majority of countries across the world. Although academic literature oftens talks of when a country "grants women the right to vote", this enforces a backwards way of thinking. Women always had the right to vote, however, they were frequently denied that right. The opposition to women's ability to vote in equality with man was most consistently and powerfully opposed by the Catholic Church, other Christian organisations, Islamic authorities and some other religious and secular traditionalists.

For more, see:

4. Prejudice

4.1. Anti-Semite Opinions

#antisemitism #christianity #germany #indonesia #israel #jordan #judaism #laos #morocco #netherlands #pakistan #philippines #religion #religious_violence #saudi_arabia #spain #sweden #turkey #UK #vietnam

Anti-Semite Opinions
Lower is better
9
Pos.2014
%9
1Laos0
2Philippines3
3Sweden4
...
94=Jordan81
94=Bahrain81
96Kuwait82
97Tunisia86
98=Algeria87
98=Libya87
100Yemen88
101Iraq92
Africa Avg45.9
World Avg36.8
q=101.
Algeria is positioned 4th-worst in the world when it comes to its success in fighting anti-semitic prejudice.

Anti-Semitism is the world given to irrational racism against Jews. It is not the same as anti-Judaism (involving arguments against the religion) nor the same as anti-Zionism (arguments against Israel). In history, influential Christian theologians concocted the arguments against Jews that led, very early on, to widespread Christian action against Jews35,36,37,38. As Christianity rose to power in the West and presided over the Dark Ages, there were widespread violent outbursts against Jews of the most persistent and horrible kind. The Crusades were frequently aimed at them and the feared Spanish Inquisition paid Jews particular attention. The horror of the holocaust instigated by German Nazis in the 1940s was followed (finally) by the era of European human rights and a movement against racism in general.

The places that are the least anti-Semitical are a few countries of south-east Asia (Laos, the Philippines and Vietnam) and some of the secular liberal democracies of Europe (Sweden, the Netherlands and the UK). The worst countries for antisemitism are Islamic states of the Middle East39, which are undergoing their own Dark Age. Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Morocco, Indonesia, Pakistan and Turkey see the most oppressive and violent actions towards Jews40,41. Jews in Muslim countries face a host of restrictions and "ceaseless humiliation and regular pogroms"42. In 2004 the European Union Monitoring Center on Racism and Xenophobia reported on violent anti-Jew crimes in the EU and found that that largest group of perpetrators were young Muslim males43.

For more, see:

4.2. LGBT Equality

#equality #homosexuality #human_rights #ICCPR #intolerance #sexuality #tolerance

LGBT Equality
Higher is better
12
Pos.2017
Score12
1Netherlands103
2Belgium90
3Sweden86
...
181Mauritania-32
182UAE-34
183=Kuwait-37
183=Algeria-37
185Tunisia-39
186=Guinea-39
186=Cameroon-39
186=Senegal-39
Africa Avg-10.4
World Avg12.6
q=196.
Regarding LGBT equality, Algeria comes 14th-worst in the world.

Discrimination against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) folk is rife across the world. Legal restrictions co-exist alongside social stigmatisation and physical violence44. LGBT tolerance and equal rights have been fought for country-by-country across the world, often against tightly entrenched cultural and religious opposition. Adult consensual sexual activity is a Human Right, protected by privacy laws45. Despite this, homosexual activity is outlawed in around 80 countries44. The Social & Moral LGBT Equality Index was created to compare countries and regions, granting points to each country for a variety of factors including how long gay sex has been criminalized and the extent of LGBT legal rights. Graded negative points are given for criminality of homosexuality, unequal ages of consent, legal punishments and for not signing international accords on LGBT tolerance. The signs in many developed countries are positive, and things are gradually improving. Europe is by far the least prejudiced region (Scandinavia in particular being exemplary). The Middle East and then Africa are the least morally developed, where cultural bias goes hand-in-hand with state intolerance, all too often including physical violence.

For more, see:

4.3. Freedom of Thought

#europe #freedom_of_belief #freethought #human_rights #netherlands #religion #religious_tolerance #secularism #the_enlightenment

Freedom of Thought
Lower is better
8
Pos.20218
1=Belgium1.0
1=Netherlands1.0
1=Taiwan1.0
...
166Lebanon4.0
167=Vietnam4.0
167=Libya4.0
167=Algeria4.0
170Iraq4.3
171=Nigeria4.3
171=Comoros4.3
173Eritrea4.5
Africa Avg3.1
World Avg3.0
q=196.
Algeria is positioned 161st in the world regarding freethought.

Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Belief are upheld in Article 18 the United Nation's Universal Declaration of Human Rights46. It affirms that it is a basic human right that all people are free to change their beliefs and religion as they wish47. No countries voted against this (although eight abstained). This right was first recognized clearly in the policies of religious toleration of the Netherlands and elsewhere in Europe in the post-enlightenment era48 of the 19th century. In democratic countries, freedom of belief and religion is now taken for granted49. In 2016 a study found that over 180 countries in the world had come to guarantee freedom of religion and belief50. The best countries at doing so are Taiwan, Belgium and The Netherlands8,51 and the worst: Afghanistan, N. Korea, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia8,52.

Long-term studies have shown that religious violence and persecution both decrease in cultures where religious freedom is guaranteed53. Despite this, there still are many who are strongly against freedom of belief47, including entire cultures and many individual communities of religious believers. Their alternative is that you are not free to believe what you want and they often state that you cannot change religion without being punished (often including the death penalty): this is bemoaned as one of the most dangerous elements of religion54 and "the denial of religious freedoms is inevitably intertwined with the denial of other freedoms"55 and the solution is, everywhere, to allow religious freedom and the freedom of belief.

For more, see:

5. Freedom of Belief and Religion

#algeria #islam #religion_in_algeria #religion_in_south_africa #south_africa

When it comes to religious freedom and persecution, sociologists Grim & Finke place Algeria into the worst category, along with just 13 other countries13. Under the premise of Islam, severe restrictions on religious freedom and freedom of belief stem both from government decree15 and from social pressure13. The small Islamic Ahmadi sect, for example, had over 266 of its members prosecuted and the charges included "denigrating the precepts of Islam"14 because they did not strictly adhere to the state's version of Islam.

The International Humanist and Ethical Union produced a report entitled "Freedom of Thought" (2012)15, in which they document bias and prejudice at the national level that is based on religion, belief and/or lack of belief. Their entry for Algeria states:

The constitution and other laws and policies protect freedom of religion or belief. However, Algeria's constitution also makes Islam the official religion. Its penal code disallows persons from insulting religious sentiments or inciting hatred against religion. The country also has a Ministry of Religious Affairs that works to ban any publishing and broadcasting content deemed blasphemous.

"Freedom of Thought" by IHEU (2012)15

Human Rights Watch report for 2017 says this:

More than 266 members of Algeria´s tiny Ahmadi minority have been prosecuted since June 2016, and some imprisoned for up to six months. Senior government officials have at times claimed that Ahmadis represent a threat to the majority Sunni Muslim faith, and accused them of collusion with foreign powers.

Authorities charged them under one or more of the following charges: denigrating the dogma or precepts of Islam; participating in an unauthorized association; collecting donations without a license [and] at least 20 have faced a charge of practicing religion in an unauthorized place of worship under Algeria´s 2006 law governing non-Muslim religions, even though Ahmadis consider themselves to be Muslim. [... The court] sentenced Mohamed Fali, the president of the community, to a term of six months in prison, suspended, and a fine.

"World Report 2018" by Human Rights Watch (2018)14