The lifting of Algeria’s 19-year state of emergency in early 2011 did not have a positive effect on the situation of human rights defenders (HRDs). Human rights defenders have continued to be subjected to harassment, threats, physical attacks, arbitrary detention and legal proceedings.
Peaceful protests have been forcibly dispersed and protesters and human rights defenders have been arrested and charged. An indefinite 2001 ban on protests continue to remain in force in the capital Algiers. A number of HRDs have been put on trial under Article 100 of the Penal Code, which punishes the incitement of unarmed gathering.
Criminal defamation is used to exert pressure on journalists and independent newspapers. A new Press law adopted in late 2011 grants the authorities the right to sanction journalists whose work may undermine the country's economic or security interests. The 2009 Cybercrime Law grants the government the right to censor or close down any online sites deemed to be a threat to public order or decency.