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.


UK govt: British women strip-searched in Qatar

Updated 10 min 37 sec ago

UK govt: British women strip-searched in Qatar

  • London describes incident as ‘unacceptable’
  • Strip-search took place in Doha airport

LONDON: British authorities have formally registered concerns with Qatar following reports that two women who are UK nationals were strip-searched in Doha.

The forced medical examinations were carried out in Doha airport after authorities discovered a newborn baby in a bin.

This, it is claimed, prompted them to conduct “urgently decided” intrusive examinations, described as “absolutely terrifying” by one of 13 Australian women on a flight to Sydney who were subjected to them.

The British women were part of a group that was forced to disembark flights before having their underwear removed for a female medical professional to carry out an examination assessing if they had recently given birth.

The complaint was registered by the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, which said in a statement: “We are providing ongoing support to two British women following an incident in Doha. We have formally expressed our concern with the Qatari authorities and Qatar Airways and are seeking assurances an unacceptable incident like this cannot happen again.”

Australian officials said passengers from 10 flights leaving Doha on Oct. 2 were subjected to the ordeal.

“The advice that has been provided indicates that the treatment of the women concerned was offensive, grossly inappropriate, and beyond circumstances in which the women could give free and informed consent,” said a spokeswoman for the office of Australia’s foreign minister.

Sources familiar with the incident have said the newborn is alive and in care, and the mother has not been identified.