Algeria Annuls Bill Stripping Opposition Citizens Abroad of Nationality
The Algerian government annulled on Sunday a decision it had taken to strip the nationality from opposition citizens residing abroad should they commit acts that are liable to “seriously damage the interests of the state or harm the national unity.”
The government had announced the bill in March. It was strongly denounced by the popular anti-government protests. It mainly targeted opposition figures in Europe.
In interview with two local newspapers broadcast on public television, President Abdelmadjid Tebboune said he ordered the annulment of the draft bill because it caused “misunderstanding” among the people.
He stressed that the “minority of minorities cannot force us to ratify laws that do not concern the Algerian people.”
His statements were understood as a reference to Prime Minister Abdelaziz Djerad, who had submitted the bill without first consulting with the president, who is head of the executive authority in the country.
On March 3, the PM’s office said the bill will apply to people who join, finance or glorify a terrorist organization.
The law also applies to “everyone who deals with an enemy country.”
It explained that the law was in line with international conventions and guarantees the right to appeal, without providing more details.
On the same day, government spokesman and Minister of Communication, Ammar Belhimer, said Justice Minister Belkacem Zeghmati presented a second reading of a preliminary draft on the nationality law.
The spokesman said the bill includes introducing a system to strip citizens of the original or acquired Algerian nationality.