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Algeria demonstrators call for release of Workers' Party leader

Head of the Algerian Workers' Party Louisa Hanoune gives a speech during a political meeting ahead of the upcoming presidential election, on April 8, 2014 in Kolea, a town in Tipaza Province, northern Algeria. [AFP PHOTO/FAROUK BATICHE / Getty]
Secretary-General of the Algerian Labour Party, Louisa Hanoune Louisa in Algeria on 8 April 2014 [AFP PHOTO/FAROUK BATICHE / Getty]

Algerian protesters yesterday called for the release of Workers' Party leader Louisa Hanoune, calling for her to be referred to a civil court for any political charges.

Under the slogan "free and non-selective justice", the protestors condemned what they described as "luring Hanoune to military court by summoning her as a witness," considering this "a violation of the democracy the movement has been calling for since it began on 22 February".

The Socialist Forces Front (FFS) condemned what it considers the arrest of Hanoune. The opposition party declared in a statement that "there is no justification for this arbitrary and abusive act, which goes against the Algerians' desire to achieve real openness and freedoms in politics and the media".

FFS called for the immediate release of Hanoune, saying that she was imprisoned in an attempt to "settle personal accounts and violate her right to political expression".

On Thursday, the examining magistrate at the military court in Algeria ordered Hanoune to be placed in pre-trial detention in relation to the cases of Said Bouteflika – the brother of the outgoing president Abdelaziz Bouteflika – former intelligence chief General Tawfiq and General Athmane Tartag.

The Workers' Party is one of Algeria's biggest opposition parties and has been led by Louisa Hanoune since it was established in 1990. Hanoune declared she will not run for presidential elections after the resignation of President Bouteflika was confirmed earlier this year.

Read: Algeria to arrest dozens of Bouteflika-era officials

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