Algeria opposition figure to be released after appeal

3. Fethi Ghares
An undated photo of Fethi Ghares. (Photo: Twitter)
ALGIERS, Algeria — An Algerian opposition figure jailed for two years for “insulting the president” was released Tuesday after his sentence was reduced on appeal, a prisoners’ rights group said.اضافة اعلان

Fethi Ghares, coordinator of the small leftist Democratic and Social Movement, was arrested in June last year and sentenced in January to two years behind bars on charges that also included “spreading information that could harm national unity”.

But an appeals court reduced the 47-year-old’s sentence to six months in jail plus a six-month suspended term, meaning “he will leave prison today”, the CNLD rights group said.

A figure from Algeria’s secular leftist opposition, Ghares in 2019 joined the pro-democracy Hirak movement — mass protests that swept veteran president Abdelaziz Bouteflika from power.

The long-running movement still demands the overhaul of Algeria’s political system.

More than 300 people are currently behind bars in relation to the Hirak or to human rights campaigning, according to the CNLD. 

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