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The Euro-Mediterranean Network of Human Rights (REMDH) and the Observatory for the Protection of Defenders of Human Rights have both condemned the decision of the Algerian administration to issue an administrative closing of the Maison des Syndicats, the office home to the Algerian trade workers' union.
On May 12, 2010, Algerian administrative authorities notified the proprietor of the Maison des Syndicats of the closing of the unions' offices, effective immediately.
The closing of the unions' offices arrived on the eve of the unions' first ever world social forum in the Maghreb region, which was to be held by the National Autonomous Union of Public Administration Personnel (SNAPAP) on May 14-15, 2010 in Algiers, depriving the unions of a private location for free and open expression in a region where requests for authorization of public meetings are systematically denied.
The administrative order-which denied the unions of the option for judicial recourse-was permitted by a declared state of urgency, which has been in effect since 1992. For seventeen years, unions have had to face the adoption of arbitrary and discriminatory measures inhibiting the exercising of rights to freedom of assembly, expression and demonstration.
The REMDH and the Observatory for the Protection of Defenders of Human Rights both demand that authorities revoke the order closing the Maison des Syndicats, and that they end the abuse of civil and political rights that has lasted throughout the seventeen years that the state of emergency has been in effect; these measures are imperative for the protection of political and civil liberties throughout Algeria.