Algeria: 4 convicted protesters released

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Four protest protesters in Algeria, sentenced to prison for disturbing an electoral rally, were released on appeal Monday, according to an association.

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These four demonstrators had received in November 18 months in prison, including for “obstruction of the ballot” presidential of December 12, said the National Committee for the release of detainees ( CNLD ).

They had been arrested on November 17, accused of having tried to prevent in Tlemcen (north-west) the holding of an electoral rally of the former Prime Minister Ali Benflis, one of the five presidential candidates.

During the campaign for the presidential election, the candidates had to hold their electoral meetings under strong police protection. The police sometimes used tear gas while anti-government demonstrators threw stones and other projectiles.

On December 12, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, ex-Prime Minister of deposed president Abdelaziz Bouteflika – pushed into resignation by the protest movement in April 2019 – was elected in a vote marked by a strong abstention.

Almost a year after the start of this movement (the “Hirak”), the demonstrators continue to demand the dismantling of the “system” and the departure of its representatives in power.

So far, some 76 people detained for acts related to the “Hirak”, awaiting trial or already convicted, have been released, the majority in Algiers.

These releases represent around half of the approximately 140 “Hirak detainees” counted before this measure by the CNLD , an association which identifies and supports them.

AFP

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