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Tunisia issues 3-month sentence in absentia against Algeria activist Amira Bouraoui 

February 25, 2023 at 4:21 pm

Dr Amira Bouraoui, one of the most prominent if not the best-known figure of “Hirak”, is greeted upon her 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]

Tunisian Mosaique FM radio reported on Friday that a Tunisian court had issued a three-month imprisonment sentence in absentia against Algerian activist Amira Bouraoui in a case that sparked a diplomatic rift.

Bouraoui, who was banned from travelling in Algeria after she was released from prison there, crossed the border into Tunisia by land last month and was then allowed to fly to France.

Algeria accuses France of orchestrating Bouraoui’s escape, including what Algeria and Tunisia describe as an illegal border crossing into Tunisia, and putting pressure on Tunisia to allow the activist to leave.

The Algerian ambassador to Paris has been summoned for consultations, threatening the end of months of improved relations between the two countries after French President Emmanuel Macron visited Algeria last year.

Tunisia has strengthened its relationship with Algeria, which it relies on for natural gas supplies. Tunisia also says that Algeria helped it financially while Tunisia faces a state budget crisis.

Tunisian President Kais Saied dismissed the foreign minister after Bouraoui left the country, in a move that many interpreted as connected to the case.

READ: Algeria, Tunisia presidents’ call shows ties are undamaged, reports claim