The National Committee for the Liberation of Prisoners (CNLD) has announced that 214 prisoners of conscience are held prisoners in 33 governorates of the country. Since the beginning of May, the CNLD has counted 144 new detainees, who were mostly arrested during the Hirak protests.
Last Friday, several Algerian internet users organised a large campaign to support of the prisoners of conscience. After the banning of marches and rallies by the authorities, the vice-president of the Algerian League for the Defence of Human Rights (LADDH), Saïd Salhi, said that the virtual celebration of the 120th Friday of Hirak was dedicated to the 214 prisoners of conscience who are currently in Algerian jails.
In a statement given to the online newspaper Interlignes, activist Zaki Hannache stressed that “these people are not criminals. They are ordinary citizens who have exercised a right guaranteed by the Constitution— expressing their opinion. Some were arrested during the popular protests and others were arrested because of Facebook posts.”
It is worth noting that Algeria is about to organise elections aiming at reinforcing the country’s political authority. Boycotted by part of the opposition, these elections come after President Tebboune dissolved the parliament last February.