WikiLeaks December 2010 publication of US embassies' reports
around the world revealed the superpower's knowledge of the
economic scam among the dictatorships in the Arab world. The
publication triggered demonstrations and other protests
across the Arab world. The wave of protests later referred
to as the "Arab Spring", which washed away US and EU
long-standing allies in Tunisia and Egypt. In Algeria, the
demonstrations started already on December 28, 2010. In
Algeria, the triggering themes were unemployment - and
especially youth unemployment -, housing shortages, economic
corruption, inflation and the lack of democratic rights.
During January, protests spread throughout the country. They
evolved violently with the burning of businesses and public
offices, and was met with similar violence by the regime. By
the middle of the month, 3 protesters had been killed, 800
wounded and 1100 arrested. There in among many minors. At
the same time, a wave of self-fire started after the
Tunisian model. Up to the end of February, about 25 Algiers
set fire to themselves in protest. Most in front of public
See ABBREVIATIONFINDER for how DZ can stand for Algeria.
In Egypt, the protests forced the country's dictator,
Hosni Mubarak, to resign on February 12, 2011. This led to a
dramatic escalation of the protests in Algiers, but at the
same time mobilized by the regime, which with 30,000
policemen prevented protesters from occupying the central 1
May place in the capital Algiers. At the same time, the
regime met the protesters' most important demands: the
abolition of the hated state of emergency. Over the next 2
months, the huge police bid in Algiers and concessions by
the regime caused the protests to wane. In April, President
Bouteflika promised constitutional amendments to strengthen
representative democracy, and at the same time he promised
amendments to the laws on elections, the media and political
parties. However, the protests continued on a smaller scale
throughout 2011 in Algiers and the rest of the country.
In May 2012, parliamentary elections were held. The
election was won by the ruling party FLN, but the party once
again declined and had to settle for 17.4% of the vote. Due.
the electoral system could still occupy 208 of the 462 seats
of the National Assembly (an increase of 72). In second
place, the liberal RND received 6.9% of the vote - a decline
of 3.4%. It gave 68 seats. In third place, green electoral
cooperation gained 6.2% of the vote - a decline of 9.4%. It
gave 49 seats. 24 smaller parties and 18 independent
candidates were also given seats. The election was monitored
by about 500 international observers and was termed the
freest to date in the country's history. No parties but many
young people called for a boycott of the election via social
media, but the turnout increased from 35% in 2007 to 42.4%.
The lowest was in the capital.
153 death sentences were handed down during 2012, but
none were enforced. The country has had a moratorium on
executed death sentences since 1993.
On January 16, 2013, a group of partisans led by Mokhtar
Belmokhtar and affiliated with al-Qaeda occupied the
Tigantourine gas field in Amenas near the border with Libya.
The occupiers took nearly 800 workers and salaried workers
on the spot as hostages. They demanded that France cease its
military operation against AQIM in northern Mali, launched 5
days earlier. Three days later, Algerian special forces
stormed the gas field and freed the hostages. By then,
however, 37 foreign hostages and 29 partisans had been
killed. Three surviving partisans were tried in Algeria.
Belmokhtar was a veteran from Afghanistan, where he had
fought against the Russian occupation in the 1980s.
In April 2014, Bouteflika was re-elected to a 4th term
with 81.5% of the vote. In second place, independent
candidate Ali Benflis came in with 12.2%. Both the Islamic
opposition and several secular parties called for a boycott
of the elections. Turnout fell to 51.7% from 75% in 2009.
Bouteflyas' supporters celebrated the election victory with
fireworks, while Benflis accused Bouteflika of massive
electoral fraud. After the election, Bouteflika re-appointed
Abdelmalek Sellal as prime minister.
Despite the abolition of the state of emergency in 2011,
the human rights situation remains serious, with significant
restrictions on freedom of speech and assembly. Critical
critics and journalists who write critically continue to be
threatened or arrested. Torture continues to be widespread
at the country's police stations.