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Human Rights Watchdog demands probe into death of Algerian ‘political prisoner’

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An Algerian Human Rights Watchdog, the League for the Defense of Human Rights, LADDH, has called on the country’s judicial authorities to investigate the death of a political prisoner, Hakim Debazi, who allegedly
died in prison at Kolea in the Wilaya region of Tipaza in the west of Algiers, following his arrest during a peaceful demonstration.

Describing Debazi as “one of the most active militants of the Hirak in Algeria,” the watchdog on Tuesday, called for the opening of an investigation into the “circumstances and causes of the tragic disappearance of this activist from the prison of Kolea.”

In a post on his Facebook account, LADDH vice president, Said Salhi, stressed that “the judicial authorities are required to inform public opinion on all details, circumstances and causes of this tragic disappearance”.

Salhi who disclosed that he had followed the case closely since Debazi’s arrest, urged “the judicial authorities to open an immediate judicial inquiry to determine responsibilities, reveal the truth and do justice”.

Salhi noted that Debazi, 55, was arrested on February 22, 2022, and remanded in custody in the prison of Kolea, and that a request for his release on bail because of his worrying health condition, was rejected by the authorities.

“Hakim Debazi is one of those activists who have been sentenced by the Algerian justice to prison for posts on social networks.

“Most are prosecuted for simply expressing an opinion, particularly through publications on social networks,” the League said in a statement, adding that hundreds of Algerian activists accused of undermining state security and the integrity of the territory as well as subversive acts, are currently languishing in Algerian prisons in deplorable conditions.

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Tunisian labour union, UGTT threatens political disruption as elections draws near

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As the North African country, Tunisia braces up for elections, labour union, UGTT has threatened not to disrupt proceedings under the current political arrangement.

UGTT attacked president Saied political and economic agenda on Saturday, including the elections scheduled for this month. The union said that it will no longer accept what it called a threat to democracy in its clearest challenge to him yet.

UGTT’s leader Noureddine Taboubi said in a speech to thousands of supporters, the union will ” no longer accept the current path because of its ambiguity and individual rule, and the unpleasant surprises it hides for the fate of the country and democracy.”

“We will not hesitate to defend rights and freedoms whatever the cost,” he added, in his strongest criticism yet of the president.

“We will not abide by secret agreements the government has with the International Monetary Fund and the workers will stand up to it,” Taboubi said.

Taboubi said the December election would “have no colour and taste” as a result of Saied’s constitution and that the vote lacked national unanimity.

President Kais Saied hinted that the country will not accept foreign observers for the planned elections for later this year.

There have been protests for and against president Saied’s approach to governance of the Tunisian public.

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South Africa: President Ramaphosa’s party, ANC meets as impeachment heat intensifies over ‘Farmgate’

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As the heat keeps piling on the South African president Cyril Ramaphosa, leaders of his party, the African National Congress (ANC) met on Friday to take a position on the current crisis bedeviling the country’s top man.

The ANC leaders are meeting after an inquiry found evidence President Cyril Ramaphosa may have committed misconduct, but they delayed a decision over whether he should stay in his post.

The party’s Treasurer General, Paul Mashatile after the meeting said the group would reconvene before Dec. 6 to discuss the report, which will be debated in parliament on that day.

“We want to deal with it properly, we don’t want to miss any step,” Mashatile told reporters, adding that party officials needed to scrutinise the report further.

“The mood was that there is a sense of urgency, that we should resolve these issues so that we can go on with the responsibilities of running the country.”

In reaction to the panel’s report, President Ramaphosa through a statement asked for space to “carefully consider the contents of the report and the next course of action to be taken”, and the National Council of Provinces chairperson acceded to the request for a delay.

The ANC is the dominant party in the country’s parliament, with 230 seats, or nearly 60% of the total, which makes the possibility of an impeachment low as most votes would be towards votes along party lines.

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