Human Rights Watch said in a statement issued in Beirut, that Algerian security forces have arrested thousands of migrants and refugees, cramming them onto trucks and buses before expelling them across the border to Niger.
More than 3,400 migrants have been expelled in the past month and at least 20 nationalities to Niger, including 430 children and 240 women, the rights watchdog said on Friday.
Lauren Seibert, refugee and migrant rights researcher at Human Rights Watch, said: “Algeria is entitled to protect its borders, but not to arbitrarily detain and collectively expel migrants, including children and asylum seekers, without a trace of due process.”
Some of the deportees interviewed by the Human Rights Watch said they had been abandoned at border crossings and told “the way to Niger”. Others said they were stripped of all their belongings before being told to leave.
In recent years, the North African country has carried out waves of deportations to Niger, including an estimated 25,000 in 2018, 25,000 in 2019, and another 16,000 as at October 2020, HRW reports noted.