Algerian President Says No ‘Prisoners of Conscience’ in the Country

Tebboune with the Algerian Prime Minister on his right and the Director of the Presidency’s Office on his left during his meeting with the political parties (Photo: The Algerian Presidency)
Tebboune with the Algerian Prime Minister on his right and the Director of the Presidency’s Office on his left during his meeting with the political parties (Photo: The Algerian Presidency)
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Algerian President Says No ‘Prisoners of Conscience’ in the Country

Tebboune with the Algerian Prime Minister on his right and the Director of the Presidency’s Office on his left during his meeting with the political parties (Photo: The Algerian Presidency)
Tebboune with the Algerian Prime Minister on his right and the Director of the Presidency’s Office on his left during his meeting with the political parties (Photo: The Algerian Presidency)

Leaders in Algerian political parties, who met with President Abdelmadjid Tebboune on Tuesday, said that he “does not recognize the presence of prisoners of conscience in the country,” in reference to recent accusations by the opposition that the government has imprisoned 230 activists for expressing their views.
Louisa Hanoune, Secretary-General of the Workers’ Party and Youcef Aouchiche, First Secretary of the Opposition Front of Socialist Forces, called on Tebboune to “use his legal authority to issue orders to release prisoners of conscience.”
But the Algerian president replied: “We do not have prisoners of conscience in the country’s prisons... Tell me their names.”
According to the same politicians who attended Tuesday’s meeting, the discussion touched on the case of seventy-year-old journalist Saad Bouakba, who was convicted last year by the judiciary to six months of imprisonment with a suspended sentence, because of a satirical article he wrote about residents of an area south of the capital.
However, Tebboune refused to deal with this case as “restriction against a journalist because of an opinion article,” stressing that he “insulted the residents of an entire region” and added: “We spared him prison due to his age.”
Participants in the meeting also discussed the imprisonment of distinguished journalist, Ihsan El-Kadi, for 7 years, including 5 effective years, on charges of “receiving money from abroad for the purpose of undermining security.”
The charge led to the closure of his media outlet at the end of 2022, while the defense and colleagues of the sixty-year-old journalist confirmed that his writings, which strongly criticized the president, were the reason for his problems with the authorities and his imprisonment.
But Tebboune stressed, according to the politicians, that El-Kadi’s involvement in foreign financing, which is prohibited by law, has led to his prosecution.
According to leaks from the political dialogue, the president warned of “foreign attempts to harm the country’s stability,” and mentioned a specific country that “is targeting us.”
He also spoke about “the unrest in Mali, Niger, and Libya, and the repercussions of the situation in the neighborhood on our national security.”
Algeria’s relations with countries on the African coast deteriorated suddenly at the beginning of this year.

 

 



Hezbollah Fires New Barrage at Israel, Which Vows to Hit Back

Hezbollah members take part in a military exercise during a media tour organized for the occasion of Resistance and Liberation Day, in Aaramta, Lebanon, May 21, 2023. (Reuters)
Hezbollah members take part in a military exercise during a media tour organized for the occasion of Resistance and Liberation Day, in Aaramta, Lebanon, May 21, 2023. (Reuters)
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Hezbollah Fires New Barrage at Israel, Which Vows to Hit Back

Hezbollah members take part in a military exercise during a media tour organized for the occasion of Resistance and Liberation Day, in Aaramta, Lebanon, May 21, 2023. (Reuters)
Hezbollah members take part in a military exercise during a media tour organized for the occasion of Resistance and Liberation Day, in Aaramta, Lebanon, May 21, 2023. (Reuters)

Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah group said it fired a new wave of rockets and drones at the Israeli army on Thursday, after an Israeli strike killed one of its senior commanders, AFP reported.
It was Hezbollah’s largest simultaneous attack in near-daily cross-border fire between it and the Israeli army since its ally Hamas’s October 7 attack on Israel triggered the Gaza war.
Hezbollah fighters launched “an attack with rockets and drones, targeting six barracks and military sites” while simultaneously flying “squadrons of explosive-laden drones” at three other Israeli bases, the group said in a statement.
One of the targets included an Israeli base that Hezbollah said housed an intelligence headquarters “responsible for the assassinations.”
Hezbollah said the attacks were “part of the response to the assassination” of Hezbollah commander Taleb Abdallah on Tuesday.
The Israeli army said about “40 projectiles were launched toward the Galilee and Golan Heights area,” adding most were intercepted while others ignited fires.
The Israeli government vowed to respond strongly to all Hezbollah attacks.
“Israel will respond with force to all aggressions by Hezbollah,” government spokesman David Mencer said during a press briefing.
“Whether through diplomatic efforts or otherwise, Israel will restore security on our northern border,” he added.
In recent weeks, cross-border exchanges have escalated, with Hezbollah stepping up its use of drones to attack Israeli military positions and Israel hitting back with targeted strikes against the militants.
On Wednesday, top Hezbollah official Hashem Safieddine vowed the group would “increase the intensity, strength, quantity and quality of our attacks,” while speaking at Abdallah’s funeral.
The Israeli army confirmed it carried out the strike that “eliminated” Abdallah on Tuesday, describing him as “one of Hezbollah’s most senior commanders in southern Lebanon.”
A Lebanese military source said he was the “most important” Hezbollah commander to have been killed since the start of the war.
The cross-border violence has killed at least 468 people in Lebanon, most of them fighters but also including 89 civilians, according to an AFP tally.
Israeli authorities say at least 15 Israeli soldiers and 11 civilians have been killed.