Prominent Algerian Activist Amira Bouraoui Sentenced to Year in Prison
Active in the Hirak protests which forced former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to resign, Amira Bouraoui has been sentenced to jail for 'insulting' current President Abdelmadjid Tebboune.
Prominent Algerian activist Amira Bouraoui has recently been sentenced to a year in prison by a court ruling, Aljazeera reports. Bouraoui was convicted on six different counts including "insulting President Abdelmadjid Tebboune", "insulting Islam" and "incitement to violate lockdown". Algeria, like several other African countries across the continent, has been on a national lockdown as part of continued efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Bouraoui was on the frontlines of the recent Hirak protests which ultimately saw former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika stepping down. In March, the ongoing protests were temporarily suspended by protest leaders amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Commenting on her conviction, Bouraoui's lawyer Mustapha Bouchachi says, "These kind of lawsuits, which have been going on for months, won't calm the political situation." Bouchachi adds that, "It's not the best way to open up towards society, activists and this peaceful revolution."
Just last month, two other activists, Larbi Tahar and Boussif Mohamed Boudiaf, were handed 18-month prison sentences by a court following their posts on Facebook which were deemed "damaging to the national interest".
The political climate in Algeria continues to be repressive and antagonising of dissenting views despite the ousting of Bouteflika. The 2015 World Report on Algeria highlights the ongoing threats to freedom of assembly, association and speech in spite of the government's commitment to reform and improving human rights conditions.