Algeria releases 51 detained over Hirak movement protests: rights group
Algeria has provisionally released 51 people detained in relation to the Hirak protest movement, a detainees' rights group said Thursday.
The CNLD published a list of people they said had been freed on Wednesday and Thursday.
They included rights campaigner Zaki Hannache, detained last month for making an "apology for terrorist acts" and "spreading false news".
Also on the list was Chems Eddine Laalami, another prominent Hirak figure, who was among the first to demonstrate against longtime president Abdelaziz Bouteflika's 2019 announcement he would run for a fifth term.
"We will update the list as and when we receive new names," CNLD coordinator Kaci Tansaout said.
Twice-weekly Hirak protests rocked major cities across the North African nation starting in early 2019, forcing Bouteflika to step down months later.
The protests continued to demand deep reforms to the country's governing system, until the coronavirus pandemic forced their suspension.
Lawyer and rights activist Nassima Rezazgui said "these were political detentions which had nothing to do with the law- and the provisional releases are too".
Until this week's releases, the CNLD had said around 300 people were being held in Algeria in relation to the Hirak, journalism or activism.