Algerian protests - OkayAfrica

Algerians shout slogans during an anti-government demonstration in the capital Algiers on May 7, 2021.

Photo by RYAD KRAMDI / AFP via Getty Images.

Algerian Government Places a Ban on 'Unauthorised' Protests

Algeria's Interior Minister has accused protesters of being a national 'nuisance' and subsequently banned all protests occurring without prior approval from the government.

The Algerian government has announced a ban it has put in place on any unauthorised protests in the country. The move comes after the country's Interior Ministry dubbed protesters a "nuisance to the wider population" according to several reports. The protests, which are a part of the Hirak movement, began in 2019 and led to the ousting of former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika who was running for a fifth term in office. The anti-government protests have continued weekly over the past two years as citizens demand an end to corruption.

READ: Deep Dive: Protest Movements Across the Continent

Permission now has to be granted for any planned protests. Protest leaders need to provide their names and personal details, slogans, and proposed times. Failure to comply with this request will result in the protest being deemed illegal. According to Al Jazeera, Algeria's Interior Ministry says the following: "Failure to comply with these procedures will result in violating the law and the constitution, which denies the legitimacy of the march, and it will be necessary to deal with it on this basis,

Concerns are abounding over what some have described as a deliberate attempt to thwart the Hirak movement's demand for political change and the active targeting of those intending on leading any protests. Unfortunately, the decision to ban unauthorised protests is in line with the country's new constitution which was approved by voters in November of last year, albeit a markedly low voter turnout, France24 reports.

In February of this year, the Hirak movement celebrated its second anniversary with thousands of Algerians taking to the streets in celebration. While current President Abdelmadjid Tebboune referred to the movement as a "blessed" movement that had "saved Algeria just four days prior to the celebration, his government's actions speak to the contrary. Several individuals have been arrested in connection to the protests over the past two years.