France asks Algeria to let people protest freely
France on Monday called on Algeria to allow anti-government protests, inspired by uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, to take place freely and without violence.
"What is important in our eyes us is that freedom of expression is respected and that the demonstrations are able to take place freely and without violence," foreign ministry spokesman Bernard Valero told reporters.
France welcomed as a "step in the right direction" the Algerian government's promise of political concessions, including a pledge to lift a two-decade state of emergency, he said.
The United States and Germany on Sunday called for restraint from the Algerian authorities, a day after a massive security operation prevented 2,000 protesters from marching in Algiers.
Algerian opposition leaders, emboldened by uprisings in other Arab states, have announced a second protest march for next Friday in the capital despite a longstanding ban on demonstrations there.
© 2011 AFP