On the occasion of the 2nd anniversary of the Hirak, a popular movement that ousted the Abdelaziz Bouteflika regime from power, thousands of Algerians gathered in the streets of Kherrata and Béjaïa.

In February 2019, the first spontaneous Hirak protest rally took place in the town of Kherrata, which has become the cradle of the anti-regime movement. While gatherings are still prohibited because of the pandemic, thousands of Algerians gathered in this city located 300 km from Algiers on Tuesday February 16 where they raised slogans of the Hirak movement and waved Algerian and Amazigh flags. The protestors demanded “the release of prisoners of expression, civil status, freedom of expression and freedom of justice.”

One day before this protest, the Algerian justice sentenced the young activist Chems Eddine Laalami, a major Hirak figure, to two years in prison, as well as a fine of 200,000 dinars (1,250 euros). Mouna Bouloudenine, a teacher at the University of Annaba, was also sentenced to one year in prison, including six months in prison. The teacher is accused of “publications which may harm the national interest.”