Algeria: first releases of Hirak militants

Algerians carrying a national flag gathered in front of Kolea prison near the town of Tipasa on February 19, 2021. AFP - RYAD KRAMDI

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Following President Tebboune's announcements, a dozen prisoners of conscience were released on Friday, three days before the Hirak's 2nd anniversary.


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A dozen detainees have been released since early morning, according to human rights activists.

These releases follow

 the presidential pardon granted

to about fifty Hirak militants, announced Thursday by

the Algerian president


In particular, it concerns about thirty people sentenced at the beginning of the week to terms of up to 2 years in prison.

In his speech to the nation on Thursday, Abdelmadjid Tebboune said that " 

between 55 and 60 people will join their families from (Thursday) evening or tomorrow (Friday)

 ", referring to the pardoned detainees, without disclosing any names.

According to the CNLD, some 70 people are in prison in connection with Hirak or individual freedoms. And from the early hours of the day, families, relatives, journalists and activists gathered in front of Koléa prison, west of Alger.

This pardon, with the announcement of the dissolution of Parliament and the organization of early legislative elections, is part of the Head of State's attempt to calm the political and social rebellion that is brewing in the country and " 

to try to cut the grass under the feet of the mobilisations ”,

estimates the analyst of

the International Crisis Group

and specialist in Algeria, Michaël Ayari.

Indeed, as the movement is preparing to celebrate its second anniversary, the executive fears new mobilizations.

A dozen detainees have been released since the beginning of the morning, according to human rights defenders. 

We feel that there is a desire to discourage, to demobilize.

It is because there is a certain fear.

Michaël Ayari, analyst of the International Crisis Group and specialist on Algeria

Victor Mauriat





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  • Algeria

  • Abdelmadjid Tebboune

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