The Human Rights Authority in Algeria has just recently released its annual report on the status of human rights violations within the country. Painting a fairly grim picture, the report exposes serious corruption concerns within the judiciary system as well as within the media itself. The report acknowledges the fact that unfortunately in Algeria, “corruption has become an institution in and of itself.” Too frequently, it is being seen as the norm. Lacking necessary government transparency, issues of bribery and embezzlement have become far too frequent.
An area of major concern lies within the restriction of free press and journalism. Both journalists and photographers have been silenced and threatened to hold back information while covering protests within Algeria. Even police force has been utilized in attempts to keep certain information out of the media. These corruption concerns have unfortunately filtered into agencies whose main focus is combating these issues. Groups such as, “The Central Bureau for the Elimination of Corruption” and “The Anti-Corruption Authority” have shown evidence of corrupt activities. Not only have they shown evidence of their own involvement, but also have simply proven to be both inefficient and ineffectual.
Despite advances that seemed on the horizon with President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, the current conditions within Algeria are not where they should be. Many people are of course becoming disheartened and discouraged with the current state of the country. Amin Abdulrahman Sayyidhum, head of the Algerian Bar Association, expressed his criticism to Asharq Al-Awsat with regards to the report, stating that it, “provides justifications for all the violations it reveals and this is something not unusual for the authority [that drafted this report], whose members are paid off by the executive branch.” Overall, Algeria currently faces major challenges towards combating corruption and improving on citizen participation and transparency within the government.