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The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Three 'Hirak' activists in Algeria to face trial

Algerian activists will face trial [Getty]

Date of publication: 13 June, 2020

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Three Algerian activists will face trial after being ordered to be held in pre-trial detention.

Three activists of Algeria's "Hirak" protest movement were Saturday ordered to be held in pre-trial detention, a prisoners' defence group said.

The National Committee for the Release of Detainees (CNLD) told AFP that Merzoug Touati, Yanis Adjila and Amar Beri appeared in court in the northeastern town of Bejaia.

They are to go on trial June 17 for incitement, "publication that could damage the national interest" and "endangering the lives of others during the confinement period" against the novel coronavirus, CNLD spokesman Kaci Tansaout said.

Read also: Algeria's tightening grip on the Hirak protest movement

He said Beri also faced charges of "damaging the person of the president of the republic", Abdelmadjid Tebboune.

The three formed part of a group of around 20 people arrested on Friday for trying to hold a protest in support of the release of other Hirak activists. The rest were detained only briefly and released.

Weekly anti-government protests rocked Algeria for more than a year and only came to a halt in March due to the novel coronavirus outbreak, with the authorities banning marches -- although the opposition already suspended its regular gatherings.

According to the CNLD, some 60 people are currently detained on charges linked to the protest movement, most of them over posts on Facebook.

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