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Human rights group calls on Algeria to release journalist who criticised police corruption

Image of Hassan Bouras [Yacine Zaid/Youtube]
Image of Hassan Bouras [Yacine Zaid/Youtube]

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has called on the Algerian authorities to release Hassan Bouras, the journalist who was sentenced to a year in prison last November for posting a video online about police corruption.

“The Algerian authorities should immediately reverse the conviction of Bouras, set him free and repeal the criminal laws under which he was convicted,” said the head of the Middle East and North Africa branch of HRW, Sarah Leah Whitson. The group claimed that legal texts relating to defamation in force in the country are “contrary to international standards on freedom of expression.”

According to HRW, Algeria should repeal its criminal code. “The unlawful practice of a profession regulated by law violates standards of freedom of expression,” it insisted.

Earlier this week, a British-Algerian journalist died after a three-month hunger strike to protest against his prison sentence for criticising President Abdelaziz Bouteflika in a poem.

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