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  • Moving freely in Algeria.

    Are there any obligations to move in cities such as Skikda or Hassi Massoud with gendarmes by law??

    I was stopped at each checkpoint whilst travelling without gendarmes and was stuck there for at least an hour until an escort from the gendarmes arrived.

    I had a recherche for any laws concerning restricted movements for foreign workers and couldn't find anything.

    Any info would be much appreciated.

  • #2
    Some of the current delays may be due to security measures being undertaken in areas where there is a possibility of terrorist activity. Threats have been made against foreign business interests, workers have been attacked and Algerian authorities are sensitive to the perception of 'risk' as having the potential to damage public confidence - as well as investment.

    Apart from security considerations, there are new measures on the way that will have an impact on the movement of foreigners in Algeria.

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    • #3
      Thanks Al-Khiyal,
      but this report didn't answer my question.

      I need to know,if I have the right as a free man, to move where ever I want to move as long I have a valid visa and do not offend algerian laws.

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      • #4
        "...The new clauses show practical methods to supervise the movement of resident or non-resident foreigners and their residence conditions.

        The preliminary draft bill also stipulates Algerian provisions implemented on any person who does not respect these new clauses..."


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        • #5
          Clearly, the new bill will not grant you absolute 'free right' to move around as you please.

          And even now, before the new bill becomes law, I would think that security conditions, and security measures, mean that if you are told by elements of the security forces, for any reason, that you have to wait at a certain place, for a certain length of time, then the instructions of security officials override whatever 'rights' you might feel that you should have.

          For example; suppose you were detained at a checkpoint that was a part of a 'ring' of checkpoints established to contain a specific terrorist threat. Security forces will have color-coded 'zones', the color status of which are regularly reviewed. So, for instance a 'quiet area' becomes a 'red zone' because solid information about an imminent terrorist action has been received. Security forces may set a counter-ambush and to ensure that civilians do not stray into a particular area checkpoints may be established on several routes leading to it and various areas radiating out from the 'red zone' will also be subject to a heightened security alert. Until the 'threat' has been removed or assessed as having receded, security measures will overrule any 'rights' that you think you have. Algerian security forces are not going to allow a foreigner to head into an area of high risk just because he or she insists that he or she is in a hurry and has a 'right' to go where he or she pleases.

          Checkpoints may sometimes appear routine, even arbitrary, but beyond 'showing the public a presence' there may be other good reasons for their appearance - they may be looking for a specific person or specific items in a specific vehicle (or vehicles) or they may simply be keeping people out of harm's way while very real threats are dealt with nearby. And of course, the nature of anti-terrorism operations is such that officers at a checkpoint will not inform people held up at the checkpoint of the exact reasons for the delay - it is not uncommon for terrorists or terrorist sympathizers in conflict zones to approach checkpoints and ask what they are for - a complete answer would only inform the terrorists of impending counter-measures being taken against them.

          Checkpoints can be frustrating and annoying, but they serve a purpose that cannot always be made clear to those who encounter them. The ultimate focus of anyone's anger should be, of course, those whose activities make the establishment of checkpoints necessary.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Al-khiyal View Post
            And even now, before the new bill becomes law, I would think that security conditions, and security measures, mean that if you are told by elements of the security forces, for any reason, that you have to wait at a certain place, for a certain length of time, then the instructions of security officials override whatever 'rights' you might feel that you should have.
            The article mentioned a draft bill and not the actual legislation.

            I'm fully aware about the security situation in consequence I've hired my own security ;
            The point is, that I'm confused because nobody can clarify this precise question. WHAT STATES THE LAW??

            I agree that immediate danger justify ununderstandable actions for civilists.

            It happens more than once that a Gendarme said that "he is the law"......I doubt, that he is. He represent the law, the law which defines the rights(my rights included)

            Such things happens in daily life in a save area,far away from usual hotspots.

            And speaking about red-zones in Algeria seemed to be far exaggerated as the government states that everything is under control and attacks such on the 11th April happened as well in London/Madrid.

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            • #7
              Governments are not going to announce that things are 'out of control' are they? And the violence in Algeria cannot really be taken as being of the same nature as attacks in Madrid or London - it is 'home grown' and while it may suit governments to claim that they are all facing some shared 'external threat' the situation in Algeria does not fit neatly into such a hypothesis.

              I have taken care not to exaggerate the level of violence. 'Color zoning' as a security response may be of days or only hours duration, it is a system used as a response to a perceived immediate threat. It is not in place 'everywhere at once' or 'all the time'.

              The violence that is occurring in Algeria is limited, both in scale and in geographical terms. But certain areas, and certain installations and individuals that have been declared 'targets' by terrorists, do present a 'risk element' and state security and the security of Algerian citizens and foreigners are considerations governing Algerian security measures.

              Perhaps contacting your embassy or consulate with a list of questions would be useful, or consulting a human rights lawyer in Algeria.

              "I am the law", is a response from security agents that will be familiar to people all over the world.

              It is not always accurate under all conditions - a security officer is a state servant and is accountable to the law and, ultimately, to the citizens he or she is supposed to be serving.

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              • #8
                "...According to the press release, the draft proposal takes into account Algeria's "options in terms of national policy" and "obligations relating to security and public order."

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                • #9
                  ..........
                  Last edited by german3; 22nd July 2007, 07:22.

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                  • #10
                    To German3

                    Yes, you have the right as a free man, to move where ever you want to move as long you have a valid visa and do not offend algerian laws.

                    I know many foreigners living in Algiers who move regularly across Algeria and they do not face such obstacles.

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