September 16, 2021

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Algeria: Steps are banned, Hirak takes refuge in social networks

Their marches, which were banned by authorities, took refuge on social media on Friday to demonstrate that militants from the anti-Hirak movement in Algeria had rejected a week-long legislative election.

“This Friday, June 4, we will have millions of Algerians around the world, all day long: on Facebook and Twitter, Instagram or elsewhere we will all stand in solidarity with prisoners.” Chad Salhi, vice president of the Algerian League for the Defense of Human Rights, tweeted: “Opinion, the election campaign of the forgotten and the new Algeria.”

This Hirak “Friday 120”, i.e. the number of weeks since the beginning of the anti-people organization uprising born in February 2019, is currently dedicated to 214 prisoners of conscience currently being held in Algerian prisons. Prisoner Release (CNLT), a support association.

“These people are not criminals. They were ordinary citizens, and they exercised their constitutionally guaranteed right: to express their opinion. There have been arrests during popular rallies and arrests due to Facebook posts, ”activist Jackie Hannach told the independent site Interligns.

In the desert Algiers, the weekly Hirak parade could not take place, an AFP reporter said.

Lire aussi: Algérie: les marches du Hirak à nouveau bloquées, sauf en Kabylie

Police blocked the main thoroughfares in the city center and prevented any crowds, especially worshipers from leaving mosques after Friday prayers.

According to one witness, only a few dozen people gathered in the Tiyar al-Jama district, east of the capital.

“The escalation of repression is targeting all voices of opposition in peaceful pro-democracy Hirak and Algeria,” Mr Salhi was quoted as saying.

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On the other hand, local media and Internet users reported that thousands of people marched in several provincial cities, especially in Djibouti, Kapilia (northeast), in solidarity with prisoners of conscience and against the June 12 referendum.

Lire aussi: Algérie: les marches du Hirak doivent être « déclarées », rappellent les autorités

“There are no elections with the gangs (in power),” Hiragist chanted slogans in Gazilia and Bejana and Pira.

One week before the election, the regime should bring in new legitimacy, but it was ignored by a section of the opposition, and the election campaign is taking place in a repressive environment.

The military has banned its pillar, the Hirak protests, and increased arrests and legal action against political opponents, Iraqi militants, lawyers and journalists.

He now denies any justification for this unprecedented and peaceful movement, without real leadership, which he accuses of being used as an instrument by anti-Algerian “foreign parties”.