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Bomb blasts in Algeria

A call from concerned Algerian citizens to citizens’ organizations, progressive parties and unions in Europe

Thursday 13 December 2007, by siawi

All the versions of this article: [English] [français]

Today December 11, 2007, Algiers was devastated by two bomb blasts. The first reports claim 26 dead and 177 wounded. According to press reports, Al Qaeda in the Land of the Islamic Maghreb has claimed responsibility for these attacks.

After a decade of murder and terror in the nineties that made 200 000 victims, the Algerian people are exhausted.

Yet this new escalation in violence is no surprise to us. In spite - or because - of the blanket amnesty officially labeled a ’reconciliation’ policy - i.e. an overall presidential pardon granted without even establishing facts and responsibilities -, Islamic armed groups never surrendered arms, and ’pardoned’ perpetrators paraded in villages, threatening their opponents and the survivors of their atrocities again, forbidding music, controlling ’morality’ and imposing gender apartheid.

For a long time, in Algeria as well as in other Muslim countries, European and North American governments led by their interest in gas entertained the most ambiguous relations with the extreme right political forces working under the cover of Islam.

But for a long time too, the vast majority of progressive parties and organizations in Europe and North America, as well as progressives in Asia and Africa and the anti globalization movement, refused to distance themselves from these same extreme right forces, under the pretext of defending the rights of the oppressed.

We are numerous, in Algeria as well as in other Muslim countries and in the North African diaspora, to oppose the theocratic project of Islamic armed groups ( i.e. the law of God as interpreted by extreme right religious forces), and to stand for a secular republic ( i.e. the laws of the people that can be changed by the will and vote of the people). But we fought this battle virtually without support from those in the international community who should have been our allies.

On the eve of yet another battle against theocratic extreme right Islamic armed groups in Algeria, we call on citizens’ organizations, progressive parties and unions, human rights groups and all concerned citizens in Europe and beyond, to extend direct immediate and sustained political support to all progressive forces, parties, unions, people’s organizations, and women’s organizations working for a secular republic in Algeria.

Reach out to these forces, network with them, exchange with them. They/we need support and visibility.

It is an illusion to think that this theocratic project will stop at your borders. Supporting those who are on the front line ultimately serves the interest of democratic freedom in the world.

First signatories:
- SIAWI, Secularism Is A Women’s Issue ( siawi.org)
- Marieme Helie Lucas, Founder of WLUML, coordinator SIAWI, Montpellier
- Hakim Arabdiou, Paris
- Selim Ducos, Paris
- Lalia Ducos, women’s human rights defender, Paris
- Cherifa Kheddar, president Djazairouna, Blida
- Amir Rezzoug, photographer, Marseille
- Saleha Larab, journalist, Algiers
- Samia Allalou, journalist, Paris
- Mohamed Ali Allalou, radio journalist, Paris
- Aziz Smati, film director, Paris
- Karima Bennoune, Associate Professor Rutgers School of Law, Newark
- Malika Zouba, journalist, Paris
- Mohamed Sifaoui, journalist, Paris
- Asma Guenifi, psychologist, Paris

Endorsed by:

- Lino Veljak, philosopher, University of Zagreb, Croatia
- Stasa Zajovic, Women In Black, Belgrade, Serbia
- Bachir Hadjadj, Human rights activist, Algeria
- Halim Akli, Journalist, publisher and secular activist, Bougie
- Huguette Chomski, International Alliance against Terrorism, Paris
- Bronwyn Winter, academic, Sydney, Australia
- Ghomari Khadija, Oran
- Nicolás de Cárdenas Prensa AVT Press Office
- Baghdadi Si Mohamed anti globalisation activist, FSMAGH, Algiers
- Malika Othmane journaliste Rome
- Karima Othmane ASS AMAL Rome
- Kébir Jbil, Engineer, Strasbourg, France
- Dalila Meziane, Advocate Bar of Algiers, Lyon
- Michèle Viannès, Regards de femmes, Lyon
- Djamal Benmerad, Brussels
- Birgit Clari Schùler, Women in Black, Milan
- Liz Olle, feminist activist and public servant, Melbourne.
- Ali Djerri journalist, Algeria
- Assiya Ameur, publicist, Paris
- Guenifi Nassradine, Filmmaker, Paris
- Guenifi Zehira, Paris
- Catherine Deudon, Paris
- Betty McLellan, Psychotherapist, Townsville, Australie
- Cheryl Adam, Melbourne, Australie
- Soad Baba Aissa (ex Bekkouche), NGO activist, Paris
- Djamal Benmerad, Writer, Paris
- Ali El Hadj Tahar, Painter
- Aisha Shaheed, Researcher, Canada/Pakistan
- Hervé Boyer, Heath Worker, Golbey, Vosges, France
- Abio Marcelli, vice secretaire association internationale juristes démocratiques
- Aldo Garzia, journalist, writer
- Hafida Ameyar, journalist (Algeria)
- Esther Fouchier, president, forum femmes méditerranée
- Ana Prokic, Belgrade, Serbia
- Jelena Bojic, Belgrade, Serbia
- Marija Mladenov, Belgrade, Serbia
- Jasmina Rastoder, SOS domestic violence hotline, Bar , Montenegro
- Sonja Biserko,Helsinki Komitet for Human Rights in Serbia
- Aleksandra Kovacevic, Podgorica, Montenegro
- Danijela Rankovic, Belgrade, Serbia
- Biljana Kovacevic Vuco, Lawyers` Committee for Human Rights, Belgrade, Serbia
- Jasmina Causevic, Belgrade, Serbia
- Biljana Maletin, Belgrade, Serbia
- Drazena Peranic, journalist, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Ervina Dabizanovic, Herceg Novi, Montenegro
- Tanja Ignjatovic, Autonomus Women’s Center, Belgrade, Serbia
- Marija Radoman, Belgrade, Serbia
- Nada Ler Sofronic, "Woman and Society", Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Lidija Pajovic, Nis, Serbia
- Nenad Dimitrijevic, professor of philosophy, Novi Sad, Serbia, Budapest, Hungary
- Snezana Baralic, Woman for Peace, Pancevo, Serbia
- Lidija Prokic, Belgrade, Serbia
- Vera Kurtic, Women’s space Nis, Network of Roma Women, Serbia
- Marija Perkovic, journalist, Vrbas, Serbia
- Vladimir Tasic, playwright, Sremski Karlovci, Serbia
- Slobodan Sadzakov, assistant professor of philosophy at University of Novi Sad, Serbia
- Ali Silem, Painter, Angers
- Dalila Morsly, Professor, University of Angers
- Juliette Minces, journalist, Paris

Organizations:
- Human Rights Without Frontiers International Secretariat, Brussels
- Coalition for a Feminist Agenda, Australia
- Women Living Under Muslim Laws, International Solidarity Network (WLUML)
- Women in Black Network - Serbia
- "Esperanca", peace organization, Novi Sad, Serbia
- ZAR, women’s organization, Kikinda, Serbia
- Zene za mir, women’s peace organization, Leskovac, Serbia
- Anima, Centre For Women And Peace Studies, Kotor, Montenegro
- SOS domestic violence hotline, Vlasotince, Serbia
- DAMAD, NGO, Novi Pazar, Serbia
- Incest Trauma Center, Belgrade, Serbia
- Center for Female Adolescents, Nis, Serbia
- Impuls, NGO, Tutin, Serbia
- Voice of difference, Belgrade, Serbia
- Reconstruction Women’s Fund, Belgrade, Serbia
- Mireille Des Rochers, advocate, Québec, Canada