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Amnesty Urges Algeria to Adopt Refugee Law

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Amnesty International called upon Algeria's government to adopt a law on the right to asylum and to investigate the expulsion of Malian refugees earlier this month.

Amnesty Urges Algeria to Adopt Refugee Law

"The authorities should decriminalize irregular immigration," Amnesty's Algeria office said in a statement on Sunday.

The statement also asked the government to "fight racism against sub-Saharans in the country."

On Saturday, Algeria's government rejected the reports of the ill-treatment of a group of nearly 260 Malian refugees who were deported to their country in the beginning of December.

Some of the recently deported Malians accused Algerian troops of brutality, saying many Malians had been wounded and some of them had even lost their lives.

Amnesty also called for "a prompt and impartial inquiry into the cases of arbitrary expulsions and allegations of mistreatment."

The rights group censured the Algerian law that criminalizes irregular migration into the country and stipulates prison term for anyone who helps an illegal refugee.

The law, Amnesty argued, makes those refugees "extremely vulnerable" and "prevents them from reporting abuse for fear of being pursued, jailed or deported."

Algeria has driven out thousands of African refugees since its neighbor, Libya, descended into chaos in 2011. Human traffickers have taken advantage of the chaos to boost their lucrative business.

The coasts of Libya have turned into a launch pad for people seeking to reach Europe.
Algerian forces often arrest refugees in the northern cities bordering the sea and transfer them to a reception center in the south before being deported.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

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