Dissolution of RAJ, a 30-year-old association

The dissolution of the Rassemblement Actions Jeunesse (RAJ), an Algerian association very active in the hirak of 2019, was confirmed on Thursday by the Council of State, the highest administrative court in Algeria.

Created in 1992, the RAJ Association announced on its Facebook page, the judgment rendered on appeal by the Council of State, confirming the verdict of the dissolution pronounced by the administrative court of Algiers, in October 2021.

Very involved in the Hirak of 2019, the Algerian authorities accuse the association “of acting in violation of the law on associations and in contradiction with the objectives listed in its statutes”.

According to Algerian media, the Council of State also decided on Thursday to suspend the Democratic and Social Movement (MDS), a left-wing party also involved in the Hirak demonstrations.

The dissolution of the Raj association and the freezing of the activities of the MDS confirm “a brutal questioning of the democratic gains torn from high struggles”, lamented Abdelouhab Fersaoui, one of the leaders of the association, quoted by the media.

Reacting to the decision of the Council of State, the NGO Amnesty International considered that “the dissolution of this association is a blow to the right to freedom of association, guaranteed by the Constitution”.

On Wednesday, the UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Mary Lawlor, said she was “concerned” about the growing crackdown on civil society by the Algerian authorities, following the dissolution of the Algerian League for the Defense of Human Rights (LADDH) and the Rassemblement actions jeunesse (RAJ), two of the most important associations for the defense of human rights in Algeria.

“The decision to dissolve these two well-respected human rights associations demonstrates an alarming repression of civil society organizations and seriously undermines the space for human rights defenders to associate, express themselves freely , and carry out their legitimate human rights activities,” she said.

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