Algeria protest movement activists jailed

Members of the Algerian police block the progress of an anti-government demonstration heading towards the presidential palace in the capital Algiers, on February 22, 2020. (AFP)
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Updated 29 September 2020

Algeria protest movement activists jailed

  • The Hirak movement emerged in February 2019 and led to the resignation of Bouteflika, whose plans to run for a fifth term sparked the protests

ALGIERS: An Algerian court on Sunday sentenced a member of the “Hirak” protest movement that forced longtime president Abdelaziz Bouteflika to resign last year, to three years in jail, a rights group said.
The group, CNLD, lists prisoners of conscience in Algeria. It said earlier this month that 61 people were still behind bars for acts related to “Hirak.” It described the three-year sentence handed down to Brahim Laalami as “incredible and unacceptable.”
Khaled Tazaghart, a former deputy and anti-regime activist, was also sentenced to one year in a separate trial.

FASTFACT

The Hirak movement emerged in February 2019 and led to the resignation of Bouteflika, whose plans to run for a fifth term sparked the protests.

The Hirak movement emerged in February 2019 and led to the resignation of Bouteflika, whose plans to run for a fifth term sparked the protests.
Demonstrations continued after Bouteflika’s departure to demand wholesale political change, but halted in March due to restrictions to end the novel coronavirus crisis.


Turkey irked over joint declaration by Cyprus, Greece and Egypt

Updated 23 October 2020

Turkey irked over joint declaration by Cyprus, Greece and Egypt

  • The joint statement also asked Turkey to accept Cyprus’ invitation to enter negotiations for an agreement on maritime delimitations

ISTANBUL: Turkey’s Foreign Ministry on Thursday slammed a joint statement by Greece, Cyprus and Egypt that condemns Turkish energy exploration in the eastern Mediterranean and numerous “provocations” that they maintain are threatening regional peace.
The Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it “fully rejected the declaration containing baseless accusations and allegations.”
During a trilateral regional summit on Wednesday in Nicosia, Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis urged Ankara to end its “aggressive” actions.
The joint statement also asked Turkey to accept Cyprus’ invitation to enter negotiations for an agreement on maritime delimitations. Greece and Cyprus have signed maritime border agreements with Egypt while dismissing a similar deal that Ankara signed with Libya’s Tripoli-based government as “legally invalid.”
The Turkish Foreign Ministry said the declaration attacked Ankara rather than supporting peace and stability in the region. It repeated Turkey’s position that cooperation could only take place with the inclusion of Turkish Cypriots in governing and sharing the resources of the ethnically divided island nation.
“We will continue with determination to protect our rights and the rights of Turkish Cypriots in the eastern Mediterranean,” the ministry statement said.
The trilateral summit took place amid high tensions between nominal NATO allies Greece and Turkey over maritime borders and energy rights.
In late summer, Turkey dispatched a research vessel escorted by warships to conduct seismic research in a part of the Mediterranean Sea that Greece claims as its territory, which prompted the Greek government to deploy its own warships.
Turkey pulled the research ship back to shore for several weeks for maintenance and to allow time for diplomacy but redeployed the Oruc Reis on a new energy exploration mission. A maritime announcement by Turkey says the Oruc Reis and two other ships would continue working in the area until Oct. 27.
Turkey also has had ships prospecting for oil and gas reserves in waters that Cyprus claims as its exclusive economic zone.