Algerian opposition figure sentenced to two years’ jail

An Algiers court on Sunday sentenced an opposition figure to two years behind bars on charges including insulting the president, a prisoners’ rights group said.

Fethi Ghares, coordinator of the small leftist Democratic and Social Movement party, was arrested in late June and his house was searched.

The 47-year-old was sentenced “to two years in prison and a fine of 200 000 dinars (over $1 400)”, the CNLD rights group said.

Ghares was prosecuted over charges including “harming the person of the president of the republic”, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, and “spreading information that could harm national unity” and public order, it added.

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He is expected to appeal.

A figure from Algeria’s secular leftist opposition, Ghares in 2019 joined the pro-democracy Hirak movement – mass protests that swept veteran president Abdelaziz Bouteflika from power.

The long-running movement still demands the overhaul of Algeria’s political system.

More than 200 people are currently behind bars in relation to the Hirak, according to the CNLD.

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