The Algerian government announced the release of prominent journalist Khaled Drareni and more than 30 other pro-democracy activists on Friday, signaling an agreement ahead of the second anniversary of their protest movement in Hirak. According to reports, the release of the journalists and protesters was hastened by the government’s election, which is expected to take place later this year.
Prominent Algerian journalist Khaled Drareni has been sentenced by the government to three years in prison on charges of being reporting news from anti-government protest groups. A complaint filed in court described the human rights groups to press freedom in a country recently shaken protests against government.
Reporter Drareni, 40, editor of the online news Casbah Tribune and a reporter from the TV-speaking French TV5 Monde, was sentenced to three years in prison in August due to the coverage of the riots against the Algerian government at the time. His arrest was interpreted by human rights groups and media groups as an attack on press freedom.
Pronouncing “Freedom and Democracy in Algeria,” dozens of people gathered in the jail where journalist and activist Khaled Drareni was being held in Kolea, west of the capital Algiers.
The government releases its first prisoners detained in Algeria since the accused involved in street protests against the government two years ago, was released Friday after an order from the president. President AbdelmadjidTebboune has announced that 60 people involved in the movement that forced his predecessor AbdelazizBouteflika to step down in 2019 will be pardoned immediately as the country enters elections later this year.
In a televised speech late Thursday night, he said he was reshuffling the cabinet, saying he would replace ministers “who have not performed their duties”.
He said: “I thank all those who have shown us the unity of Algeria and abroad, because of our fight for freelance journalists and the fight against all imprisoned journalists and all civilian prisoners. We will all be free when all the prisoners are free, ”Drareni said after his release.