Algeria: Activist Karim Tabbou released two days after latest arrest

Algeria: Activist Karim Tabbou released two days after latest arrest
Tabbou was conditionally released after being charged in relation to his appearance on a TV show with Tunisia's former president Mouncef Marzouki earlier this month.
2 min read
26 May, 2023
Tabbou was last arrested in April 2022 [Billal Bensalem/NurPhoto via Getty-file photo]

Algerian activist and political dissident Karim Tabbou was conditionally released Thursday night after his arrest earlier this week, his lawyer has said.

Lawyer Toufiq Belala said Thursday that he had received a call from Tabbou, who said he had been charged on four counts related to his appearance on a current affairs show on London-based television channel Al-Magharibia with Tunisia's former president Mouncef Marzouki earlier this month, before being released.

Tabbou was arrested at his home in an Algiers suburb by plainclothes police officers on Tuesday, Belala had said Wednesday.

Tabbou was released under "judicial control", Belala said. Release under judicial control means Tabbou will have to adhere to certain restrictions to his movement, local media reported.

The 48-year-old activist was one of the most recognisable faces during mass rallies, led by the Hirak pro-democracy movement, that began in February 2019.

The protests demanded a sweeping overhaul of the ruling system in place since the North African country's independence from France in 1962.

Tabbou leads a small, unregistered opposition party, the Democratic and Social Union (UDS). He was sentenced in March 2020 to one year in jail for "undermining national security" over his criticism of the army's involvement in politics.

After his release from prison, he was detained again in April 2022 for 24 hours for unknown reasons. he Hirak protests had forced longtime president Abdelaziz Bouteflika to step down from power in early 2019.

Demonstrations continued in a push for deep reforms, but the movement waned when the coronavirus pandemic struck.

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Dozens are still detained in Algeria over links to Hirak or human rights activism, according to detainee rights groups.

Marzouki, who was president of Tunisia from 2011 to 2014, has criticised Algeria for its policies towards its North African neighbours. Last month, he blamed Algiers for weakening Morocco and Tunisia's ties through its support for Western Sahara.