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(en) Algeria: Repression of unemployed workers in Ouargla (ca)
Fri, 11 Jan 2013 17:40:16 +0200
On 2nd January last there were serious clashes during a demonstration organized by the
national committee for the defense of the rights of the unemployed (CNDDC), part of the
SNAPAP union. ---- For an hour, right in the city centre, police used teargas and batons
to disperse demonstrators, making several arrests. --- Beginning in the morning, hundreds
of unemployed youths blocked the city centre of the town of Ouargla to protest against the
poor management of employment in this oil town in the south of the country, --- Roads were
closed to traffic and most shops and cafes closed. Demands included the dismissal of all
local employment leaders ââas well as the Labour Minister, Tayeb Louh, and the setting up
by the government of a crisis office to start a dialogue with the unemployed workers.
When protesters blocked the traffic, police forces were brutally launched against the
protesters in order to restore circulation.
Arrest of Tahar Belabes
Tahar Belabes, Coordinator of the National Commission for the rights of the unemployed,
part of SNAPAP, was arrested on Wednesday afternoon in the doorway of his home. Tahar was
not arrested during the demonstration in the morning - police were waiting for him to
return home before arresting him.
He was released 3 days later, awaiting trial.
Who is Tahar Belabes?
Tahar Belabes has had a hard life since childhood. After the death of his father during a
pilgrimage to Mecca, his only brother committed suicide, leaving Tahar with his family,
devoid of any kind of resource and living in great poverty.
He spent years looking for a job without success to help support his family and the doors
closed to him made him aware of the injustice and inequality that thousands of young
people who are in the same condition as him live in. He joined with other young unemployed
people to demand a dignified life with access to employment for all.
Tahar Belabes is not a criminal - he is a young man who has become conscious because of
his own life experience.
Working group for North Africa International Relations Secretariat CGT
Translation by FdCA-International Relations Office
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