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Algeria annuls prison terms for prominent Hirak member

Karim Tabbou, one of the most prominent if not the best-known figure of "Hirak", gestures upon his release from prison on July 2, 2020, outside the Kolea Prison near the city of Tipasa, 70km west of the capital Algiers [RYAD KRAMDI/AFP via Getty Images]
Karim Tabbou, one of the most prominent if not the best-known figure of "Hirak", gestures upon his release from prison on July 2, 2020, outside the Kolea Prison near the city of Tipasa, 70km west of the capital Algiers [RYAD KRAMDI/AFP via Getty Images]

An Algerian court yesterday annulled a one-year suspended prison sentence against political opponent, Karim Tabbou, who is considered one of the most prominent figures of the popular anti-regime movement in Algeria, on account that he was tried on the same charge before another court.

The National Committee for the Liberation of Detainees (CNLD) announced on Facebook: "The Tipasa court (west of Algiers) decided to end the prosecutions against Karim Tabbou because the case was previously considered by the Algiers court on charges of 'endangering national security'."

"This decision is welcomed," said Said Salehi, vice president of the Algerian League for the Defence of Human Rights, to Agence France-Presse (AFP)

On 7 December 2020, the Algerian judiciary sentenced activist Karim Tabbou to a one-year suspended prison sentence after convicting him of "compromising national security".

However, Tabbou's lawyers denounced the "violation of the law", arguing that their client had been sentenced for the same charges during a previous trial and therefore, according to Algerian law, could not be tried again.

The 47-year-old Tabbou is head of the Social Democratic Union, an unauthorised opposition party, and is one of the most prominent anti-regime Hirak protest figures.

READ: In Algeria, 14,000 prisoners pardoned under presidential Eid Al-Adha amnesty

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