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Algeria: Attacks against women - “barbarous acts” - Observatory on Violence against Women

Friday 8 July 2011, by siawi

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Attacks against women: “barbarous acts”

July 8, 2011

Punitive expeditions against women continue… Once again, women are lynched!

After Hassi Messaoud, M’sila, where in the space of two months (see El Watan of July 5, 2011), “honorable” men have assaulted defenseless women they considered to have “ bad morals.” We stand up firmly to condemn the attacks of which more and more Algerian women are victims. We stand up strongly against the fact that not a single state institution guarantees the safety of Algerian women, as this further happening illustrates. We are women, members of Algerian feminist organizations, and our coming together signifies that we believe this is the last straw, that we believe the Algerian authorities are obliged to protect the women of this country against the barbarous delusions of men without honor who make themselves the arbiters and guardians of the morals of women and of public morality itself, and thus show the absence of the institutions of the state.

We affirm that men who behave in such a manner are dangerous both for the present and future of Algeria. Incapable of struggling or fighting for justice and democracy in this country, they attack its weakest link, which is women, because of the status to which they are relegated in this country.

We will not let them get away with this. It is a warning of divisions to
come, because these situations have been trivialized recently, even in the
discourse of the national authorities. Violence against women has increased
without the responsible authorities feeling implicated, because they do not
even recognize the harm that is thus done to the sovereign power of the
state. It is merely about women for them. However, everyone knows that it
is first and foremost about the very existence of the state, its legitimacy and its blueprint for the society. These punitive expeditions take us back
to the 1980s when Islamist militias attacked women for what they wore, so as to safeguard Islamic morals. We want to know if in reality these troops are just the auxiliaries of the forces of the current government!

We must never forget Karima who was assassinated for not wearing the veil.

For this reason, we reiterate our indignation over these barbarous acts.

We condemn these attacks that target women because they are women.

We oppose the trivialization of such acts.

We call on the Ministers of Justice and of the Interior to fulfill their
respective roles, and to carry out investigations that will discover the
real perpetrators. We insist that the legal system finally punishes all the
perpetrators of crimes committed against women.

Observatory on Violence against Women