Hundreds of students marched, as every Tuesday in Algiers, on the first day of Ramadan, to demand the release of the militants of Hirak, an anti-regime protest movement, recently arrested, AFP journalists noted on April 13.
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Accompanied by supporters, the students walked from the Place des Martyrs, a vast esplanade below the Casbah, in the old town, to the center of the capital.
Despite the fast of the month of Ramadan - during which Muslims refrain from eating, drinking and smoking between sunrise and sunset - and the rise in temperatures, the weekly mobilization of students remains strong even if the procession seemed less provided than the past few weeks.
Free the prisoners of conscience, free justice, free the press,
" chanted protesters, some of whom held up portraits of prisoners.
Revolutionary greetings to our comrades in prison,
” read a sign.
According to the National Committee for the Liberation of Detainees (CNLD), seven students are currently behind bars, out of around sixty people associated with Hirak in detention.
Poet of Hirak
Among the portraits of detainees in Tuesday's parade were those of Mohamed Tadjadit, nicknamed the "
poet of Hirak
", and four activists imprisoned after a video of a 15-year-old accused police officers
on social media. of "
" after his arrest during a previous protest march in Algiers.
Read also: Algeria: these sympathizers who tire of a Hirak with no political outlet
They are prosecuted for criminal association, "
dissemination of false information likely to disturb public order
invasion of the privacy of a child and its exploitation for purposes contrary to morality
incitement to debauchery
possession of narcotics
Charges rejected by their lawyers at a press conference Tuesday afternoon, the latter believing that these activists are victims of "
a media war, security and justice
We formally deny the accusations of homosexuality and opening a bawdy-house.
These accusations are not present in the police file, nor in the indictment opened by the prosecution,
”protested Me Abdellah Haboul.
Me Haboul criticized the prosecutor for wanting to "
" and "
discredit the image
" and "
" of his clients.
In addition, anti-French slogans - recurrent in the demonstrations - reappeared against the backdrop of a new diplomatic cold spell between Algiers and Paris.
France is back but the revolution is still there
", we heard in the procession, while placards congratulated that "
the martyrs (have) canceled the visit of Castex
A reference to the nationalist fighters killed during the War of Independence (1954-1962) and to the cancellation of the trip to Algiers of French Prime Minister Jean Castex scheduled for April 11.
Some opponents accuse Paris of having openly sided with President Abdelmadjid Tebboune and the power in place.
On the side of the regime, France is accused in covert words of interfering in the internal political affairs of Algeria.
According to a poll published by the Arab Center for Research and Political Studies based in Doha, relayed by the Algerian press on Tuesday, 61% of Algerians consider that the greatest foreign threat targeting their country is France.
Born in February 2019 from the massive rejection of a fifth term of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, the Hirak calls for a radical change in
” in place since independence in 1962.