At the 27th session of the United Nation’s Universal Periodic Review held in Geneva, Switzerland, the United States mission to Geneva expressed its concerns over the arrest of minority Ahmadiyya Muslims in Algeria.
The U.S. representative at the session, Sheila Leonard said:
We are concerned by recent arrests of Ahmadi [AH-ma-dee] Muslims, which call into question Algeria’s respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.
We recommend that Algeria:
1. Amend the Law on Associations to remove undue restrictions on civil society organizations.
2. Work to ensure constitutional guarantees of the inviolability of freedom of thought, conscience, and religions are carried out for all, including for Ahmadi Muslims, and provide that community with the accreditation it needs to worship openly and in compliance with Algerian law.
3. Amend Penal Code articles that punish peaceful free expression with prison terms, to conform to Algeria’s Constitution.
The United States also conveyed its concerns over the arrest of members of the independent media.
The Universal Period Review or UPR is part of the United Nation’s Human Rights Council (HRC) which aims to improve the human rights situation in the U.N. Member States. Each year, 42 states are reviewed in three sessions, which are held in January/February, May/June, and October/November. During every session, each State under review is provided with a list of recommendations which it has to implement before the next review.
This review comes after over 70 Ahmadis, including community leaders, were arrested in Algeria last year. The arrests started early 2016 but intensified in July 2016.