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Algeria halves jail terms for 'Tunisian smugglers'

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

The Algerian judiciary decided to reduce the prison sentence handed down to Tunisians accused of smuggling food, while their families appealed to Tunisian President Kais Saied to intervene.

The court of Appeal in the Algerian city of Tebessa reduced the sentence of 7 Tunisians and Algerians from ten years to five years. However, their families of the Tunisians urged Saied to intervene to guarantee their release.

Mustafa Abdulkabir, head of the Tunisian Observatory for Human Rights, condemned the verdict, noting that the centre will coordinate with other parties in Algeria in order to submit a request to the Court of Appeal.

He also called on the Tunisian authorities to "immediately intervene with their Algerian counterpart to release simple citizens who have not committed a crime, and their only crime is that they are poor."

Earlier, Tunisian politicians and human rights activists criticised the Algerian authorities for the "harsh" verdict against citizens who admitted to smuggling a "small amount" of food in order to secure the livelihood of their families.

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