"President Abdelmadjid Tebboune assured me that he would use his constitutional prerogatives so that Karim Tabbou and Samir Benlarbi regain their freedom," Sofiane Djilali, leader of an opposition party, told AFP on Tuesday 2 June. Algeria, which interceded on behalf of the two leaders of Hirak. 

Received at his request by the Algerian head of state, Sofiane Djilali said that the two figures of the movement would be released soon. 

"It is a solemn commitment on his part," added the president of the party, Jil Jadid, stressing that the Algerian president had indicated that he "did not interfere directly with regard to [justice]".

In Algerian law, the head of state has the right to pardon. In principle, this only concerns prisoners who have been definitively sentenced, as is the case of Karim Tabbou, a veteran of the opposition who is serving a sentence of one year in prison for "undermining the integrity of the national territory".

"I think they have paid enough. It is very good that they are finding their freedom and their home," added Sofiane Djilali.

Sixty opponents detained

Activist Samir Benlarbi, a longtime opponent of the regime, has been on remand since March 7.

According to the National Committee for the Release of Detainees (CNLD), a support association, around sixty people are currently detained for acts related to Hirak. 

Several Algerian and international NGOs are demanding the release "immediately and unconditionally", as well as "all prisoners and prisoners of conscience incarcerated [in Algeria]". 

The Hirak demands a change in the system in place since the country's independence in 1962. In April 2019, the departure of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika after twenty years of reign.

With AFP

The France 24 week summary invites you to come back to the news that marked the week

I subscribe

Take international news everywhere with you! Download the France 24 app