Human Rights Watch's
Women's Rights Project and Middle East division today deplored the assassination
by suspected Islamist militants of Algerian women's rights activist Nabila
Djahnine. Ms. Djahnine, a thirty-year-old architect who led an organization
called the Cry of Women, was killed on February 15 in Tizi Ouzou, the capital
city of the Kabyle region. According to a February 16 El-Watan report, she was
gunned down by two men in a car as she walked to work.
Today, in Algeria, the execution
and murder of women, foreigners and intellectuals by Muslim extremists have
become systematic. Such typically fascist acts have given rise to feelings of
outrage. Logically, therefore, one would expect that the most lucid would rally
around a struggle against such a political vision or, at the very least, in
defense of the memory of the victims.
A ‘Family Code’ law has been introduced which removes many of women’s
basic human rights. She also speaks about contraception, the problem of
abandoned children and the consequences for women of the insistence on virginity
I would like to start with this new law, which is known in Algeria under the
name “Family Code”, (not the name of it, that is “Law on Personal Status”) a
title which is also used in Tunisia and Morocco.