Algeria: journalist under arrest warrant, two opponents arrested

Algerian freelance journalist Khaled Drareni was placed under the arrest warrant on Wednesday after his court review was interrupted by Algiers court charges, the league’s vice president Said Salhi told Algeria to defend human rights ().

“During the trial, arrest warrants were issued. He is waiting for the execution of the verdict, ”Salhi said.

“I have been placed on a deposit order. This is the first time this has happened to me. I don’t know how to react, ”the reporter confirmed on Wednesday night on Radio M, a private online radio station where Mr. Drareni works.

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“I am waiting for advice from lawyers to know what final decision to make,” he added. A correspondent in Algeria for Reporters Without Borders (), the journalist was arrested on Saturday, March 7 while covering the opening of an anti-regime demonstration in Alger.

He was accused of “employing the unarmed congregation and jeopardizing the integrity of the national territory” and was released on March 10 after three days in police custody.

“This is really an escalation of incomprehensible oppression at a time when we have to clear prisons before the coronavirus infection,” Salhi said.

The same court in Algeria on Wednesday rejected the request for the provisional release of Samir Benlarbi and Slimane Hamitouche, two militants from “Hirak” – the outstanding protest movement that has shaken Algeria’s power for thirteen months – arrested with Khaled Drareni on March 7.

Relentless court machine

Finally, one of the first activists in “Hirak”, Hadj Ghermoul, was sentenced on appeal by the Mascara Court (Northwest) to one year in prison, according to the National Committee for the Liberation of Prisoners (), a support association on its Facebook page.

He was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment in the first instance for broadcasting videos “undermining national interest”.

The judicial machine continues to rage in Algeria during the pandemic (21 dead and 302 officially confirmed cases): Karim Tabbou, popular figure in the protest movement, was sentenced on Tuesday to an increased sentence of one year in prison.

“Against this escalation, we are worried about the rest of the trials,” Salhi said.

Dozens of people remain in jail as part of the protest movement, according to human rights organizations.


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