French-Algerian political activist and journalist Amira Bouraoui, arrested in Tunisia and about to be deported to Algeria, is now "under the protection of the French authorities", her French lawyer François Zimeray told AFP.
She is "free and in good health", rejoiced her Tunisian lawyer, Hashem Badra, also interviewed by AFP.
Journalist Khaled Drareni, who has become the symbol of the fight for press freedom in Algeria, immediately announced the good news on Twitter.
#Algeria Activist #AmiraBouraoui, arrested in Tunisia and about to be deported to Algeria, is now "under the protection of the French authorities", her French lawyer François Zimeray told AFP.
She is "free and healthy".
— Khaled Drareni (@khaleddrareni) February 6, 2023
Me Zimeray also “welcomed the mobilization of the French authorities” for his client, who was subject to a ban on leaving the territory and risked having to serve a two-year prison sentence in Algeria.
Arrived in Tunisia on Friday, she had been “arrested while she was trying to board with her French passport on a flight to France”, had indicated a few hours earlier Me Badra.
This 46-year-old doctor was then remanded in custody until her appearance before a judge on Monday, who decided to release her, adjourning her case to February 23, he said.
Despite this, however, she was taken to a border police station in Tunis with a view to "being deported to Algiers" on Monday evening, the Tunisian lawyer regretted, recounting having seen her "crying" "in a cage glass ".
His lawyer was ready to file a complaint with the Paris prosecutor's office
Contacted by AFP, the Tunisian Ministry of the Interior was unable to confirm or deny this information.
"My client was the subject of an attempted kidnapping and sequestration by certain authorities responsible for law enforcement in Tunisia, at the request of the Algerian authorities", had previously denounced François Zimeray, former French ambassador. in Denmark.
“I let it be known this afternoon that I would not hesitate to file a complaint with the Paris public prosecutor's office for kidnapping-forcible confinement if she was not immediately released knowing that, under French law, arbitrary detention committed by an agent agent of law enforcement is a crime.
And that when this crime is committed abroad on a French citizen, the French courts are competent, ”he threatened.
According to an official of the office of the NGO Human Rights Watch in Tunis, which was seized of the case, Amira Bouraoui should "under no circumstances" be sent back "to a country where she was imprisoned and is the subject of a series of lawsuits for his peaceful activism and opinions”.
Sentenced to two years in prison
The site of the Algerian media Radio M, where she had hosted a political program since September, had also reported her arrest by the border police in Tunisia, and her "extradition" scheduled for Monday evening to Algeria.
Known since her involvement in the Barakat movement (That's enough) in 2014 which led a campaign against the fourth term of the late president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, she has tried several times to leave the national territory in recent months to visit her established son. in France, but in vain”, according to the site.
She was also in the popular uprising Hirak, triggered in 2019.
Amira Bouraoui had been imprisoned in 2020 on several charges.
She was released in July 2020. She is facing a two-year prison sentence for "offending" Islam for comments made on her Facebook page.,