Algeria protest movement activists jailed

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)
Short Url
Updated 29 September 2020

Algeria protest movement activists jailed

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.


Lebanon’s president expresses hope for Israel border talks

Updated 02 December 2020

Lebanon’s president expresses hope for Israel border talks

Lebanon’s president expresses hope for Israel border talks
  • President Michel Aoun was in Beirut for discussions with Lebanese leaders
  • The negotiations are the first non-security talks to be held between the two countries

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s president said Wednesday he wants maritime border talks with Israel to succeed and that disagreements during the last round of negotiations can be resolved based on international law.
President Michel Aoun spoke during a meeting with John Desrocher, the US mediator for the negotiations, who was in Beirut for discussions with Lebanese leaders.
The fourth round of talks, which was scheduled to take place Wednesday, was postponed until further notice, officials in the two countries said.
The negotiations are the first non-security talks to be held between the two countries, which have no diplomatic relations and are technically in a state of war following decades of conflict. Resolving the border issue could pave the way for lucrative oil and gas deals on both sides.
Israel and Lebanon each claim about 860 square kilometers (330 square miles) of the Mediterranean Sea. During the second round of the talks the Lebanese delegation — a mix of army officers and experts — offered a new map that pushes for an additional 1,430 square kilometers (550 square miles).
Israel’s Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said in an interview with Army Radio last week that “the Lebanese presented positions that are a provocation,” but he added that all negotiations start with “excessive demands and provocations.”
“I hope that in a few months we’ll be able to reach a breakthrough,” he added.
A statement released by Aoun’s office quoted him as telling Desrocher that Lebanon wants the talks to succeed because “this will strengthen stability in the south and allow us to invest in natural resources of oil and gas.”
He said difficulties that surfaced during the last round can be solved through discussions based on the Law of the Sea. Aoun said if the talks stall then “other alternatives can be put forward,” without elaborating.
The last round of talks were held in November and hosted by the United Nations in a border post between the two countries.
Israel has already developed offshore natural gas rigs, producing enough for domestic consumption and export abroad. Lebanon hopes that its own oil and gas discoveries will help alleviate its long-running economic troubles.