On January 12, 2012 the government of Algeria adopted a new Law on Associations (Law 12-06 of 12 January 2012). Although reform of the previous Associations Act 90-31 was necessary, the new law fails to adequately guarantee the right to freedom of association consistent with Algeria’s international obligations. The new law:
- Affords the government broad discretion to refuse to register an association and suspend the activities of an association;
- Places restrictions on the founders of associations;
- Makes it difficult for CSOs to receive foreign funds;
- Imposes heavy fines and criminal penalties for members or leaders of informal associations; and
- Fails to provide CSOs with an adequate remedy to appeal the rejection of their registration.
On the same day, the government of Algeria also adopted a new media law that restricts the work of journalists on sensitive topics relating to national identity, sovereignty, the economy, and security.