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Algeria: Authorities Detain RAJ Sec-Gen

Algeria: Authorities Detain RAJ Sec-Gen

Monday, 25 November, 2019 - 09:30
Algerians carry national flag during protests (File photo: AFP)

Algiers’ court ordered the detention of secretary-general of Youth Action Rally (RAJ) Fuad Ouicher, and put his colleague under judicial control after they were arrested Friday for protesting the presidential elections, Agence France Presse (AFP) quoted their lawyers as saying.

The court indicted the two on charges of “undermining state’s integrity” and “organizing unauthorized and unarmed demonstration” based on “pictures and videos found in their phones, including some that were published on social media,” as confirmed by lawyer Mouhous Seddik.

Seddik stated that the activists were arrested after Friday's demonstration in the capital and taken to the headquarters of the National Gendarmerie before being transferred to court.

He added that the defense team attended their presentation before the prosecution, but boycotted the hearing of the investigating judge, in accordance with the decision taken by volunteer lawyers to defend the detainees of the protest movement, which entered its tenth month.

The judiciary has already ordered the imprisonment of RAJ President Abdelwahab Fersaoui and eight other activists, who are in temporary confinement on charges of violating national unity and "inciting citizens to carry and gather weapons illegally.” On Saturday, the national committee for the release of detainees announced the arrest of over 30 people who were arrested for protesting the presidential elections scheduled for December 12.

The committee, which was formed to defend the detainees involved in the popular movement, said 30 opposition figures had been arrested while a pre-election demonstration was being held in Tiaret, southwest of Algeria.

It also announced that 80 people were arrested in Algiers during a night march on Thursday and were taken to police stations on the outskirts of the city. On Wednesday, about a hundred people were arrested during a similar night march, but most were later released, while the court prosecuted 21 people for “holding an unauthorized demonstration in public place”.

Since election campaigns were launched, the five candidates face difficulty in holding their rallies and meeting because of the protests, necessitating the provision of increased security protection for them.

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