Algeria Jails Ex-Policeman Two Years For Joining Hirak Protests

Algeria’s Toufik Hassani, a former policeman, has bagged two years in jail over his role in the Hirak protests in the country.

The court sitting in Ténès, Chlef, also asked Hassani to pay a fine of 100,000 Da.

Hassani was dragged before the courts for threatening security officials and divulging professional information online.

The former Algerian policeman became popular after he apologised to students who were brutalised by police during their demonstrations in October 2019.

A prisoners’ rights group, the National Committee for the Release of Prisoners (CNLD), said some 45 other people are in jail for charges linked to online posts.

Journalist Khaled Drareni was on Tuesday sentenced to two years in prison for covering protests.

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Human rights groups have condemned arrests of journalists and protesters.

The Hirak movement led protests against then-President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s bid for a fifth term after nearly 20 years in power.

After being sentenced at the end of February by the Saïda court to a two-month suspended prison sentence, Hassani was arrested on March 3 and presented on March 4 before the examining magistrate at the Ténès court. He was released on bail.

After his bail, he went to Algiers to take part in the 55th march of the revolution.

In the capital, he was arrested once again before being presented on March 8 before the public prosecutor at the Sidi M’hamed court. He was tried in immediate appearance on Sunday March 8, sentenced to 6 months in prison, including three suspended sentences for “inciting unarmed assembly” and “undermining national unity”.

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Barely out of court, he was arrested again. The prosecutor at the court of Ténès appealed against the decision of the examining magistrate to place Hassani on provisional release, winning the case with the indictment chamber of the Court of Chlef.

His trial in a case that dates back to January 02 was postponed today September 17 to the hearing of October 8, 2020, after the references of February 23, May 11, June 18, June 25, July 02, July 16, July 30 and September 03.

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