April 04, 2022

Algeria: Over 1 000 Convicts Pardoned

Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune has decreed that over 1 000 convicts be pardoned, while extending clemency to 70 detainees.

On Sunday, 3 April, a statement from the 76-year-old president’s office declared that 1 076 prisoners – including 70 people involved in the Hirak protest movement – be freed as goodwill during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

Those offered clemency were accused of “public disorder” and awaiting trial, but have been provisionally released from detainment this week.

The Hirak protest movement – which started in early 2019 – saw pro-democratic demonstrations in most of Algeria’s cities to drive governmental reforms, and eventually forced then-president Abdelaziz Bouteflika to resign several months later.

The protests have continued into Tebboune’s tenure, with many in the movement declaring that he had done little to change the current political framework.

Prominent rights activist, Zaki Hannache, who was arrested in February this year on allegations of promoting terrorist acts and spreading misinformation, is among those released.

In July 2021, Tebboune signed two decrees that pardoned close to 14 000 prisoners; the first offered amnesty to those serving less than a year in prison, or who have less than a year of their sentence left. The other decree sought to free those detainees who completed tertiary education or vocational training.

Image Credit: Source