US condemns Algeria for labeling two anti-regime groups as terrorist organizations

The Algerian government was criticized by the US for categorizing two anti-regime political groups as terrorist organizations.

The US State Department noted that “Algerian authorities targeted more frequently the Berber separatist Movement for the Self-Determination of Kabylie and the Islamist movement Rachad, which the government designated as terrorist organizations in May” in its “Country Reports on Terrorism 2021.”

“The United States deems these designations more political than security focused, given both groups are fiercely anti-government and do not appear to have engaged in what the United States regards as terrorist acts,” the statement read. The Algerian government “occasionally charged individuals with terrorism-related crimes for activities that appeared to constitute expression and peaceful activism,” the State Department noted, adding that Algerian authorities “have notably refrained from discussing these groups or the alleged threats they pose” in counterterrorism-related engagement with the United States.

The same source added that Algeria “used the new changes to imprison political activists and outspoken critics of the regime” after expanding the definition of terrorist actions and creating a national list of terrorist individuals and companies in 2021.

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