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Algeria detains 4 for ‘smuggling’ activist to France

February 22, 2023 at 9:09 am

An Algerian court [RYAD KRAMDI/AFP via Getty Images]

An Algerian court sentenced four people to pretrial detention and placed another under judicial monitoring over the smuggling of Algerian-French activist Amira Bouraoui out of the country to France via Tunisia.

The Constantine Court Prosecution said in a statement that the investigating judge ordered the temporary detention of four persons and placed a fifth person under judicial monitoring on Sunday.

The statement indicated that after the five defendants were questioned, they were accused of involvement in smuggling Bouraoui.

Nearly two weeks ago reports revealed that Bouraoui, who holds French citizenship and is subject to judicial monitoring in Algeria, arrived in-Paris via Tunisia, which she entered illegally.

Algeria has accused French diplomats and security officials of smuggling Bouraoui out of the country into France via Tunisia, according to a statement by the Algerian presidency.

Following the incident, Algerian President Abdel Majid Tebboune summoned his country’s ambassador to France for immediate consultations. There are no updates yet about whether he has returned to the embassy in Paris.

Gynaecologist Bouraoui is known for her political activity against the fourth term of office of former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika. She was one of the founders of the Barakat Movement in 2014, which did not succeed in stopping the president from running for a fourth term. She then joined the popular movement that overthrew the late president in February 2019, and was one of the most prominent faces at the forefront of the protest marches.

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