Published on :
As the country prepares to hold its legislative elections on Saturday, Algerian opponent Karim Tabbou, central figure of Hirak, and the director of a radio station close to this pro-democracy movement were arrested on Thursday, according to their entourage.
He is one of the most popular faces of the Hirak. Opponent Karim Tabbou, as well as the director of a radio station close to this pro-democracy movement, were arrested on the eve of the legislative elections, we learned Thursday evening from those around them.
“Arrest of #Karim_Tabbou near his home,” his brother Djafar wrote on his Facebook page.
The director of the Algerian station Radio M and the Maghreb Emergent news site, Ihsane El Kadi, was also arrested, the Casbah Tribune news site reported.
Karim Tabbou, 47, had been released on April 29 under judicial supervision after an altercation with Bouzid Lazhari, the president of the National Council for Human Rights (CNDH), an official body.
Imprisoned from September 2019 to July 2020, Karim Tabbou is a well-known face of the anti-regime protest, Hirak, launched in February 2019.
>> To see on France 24, our interview with Karim Tabbou: “President Macron is wrong to support Abdelmadjid Tebboune”
As for Ihsane El Kadi, he was placed under judicial supervision on May 18. He is accused of “disseminating false information capable of undermining national unity”, “disrupting the elections” and “reopening the dossier of the national tragedy” of the 1990s.
This last charge refers to the Charter for Peace and Reconciliation, supposed to turn the page on the civil war of the “black decade” (1992-2002).
Under judicial review, the two men are prohibited from speaking to the press.
These arrests take place 48 hours before the early legislative elections supposed to bring new legitimacy to the regime but rejected by the protest movement Hirak and part of the opposition, against a background of generalized repression.
They come as a group of French journalists have been in Algiers since Wednesday to cover Saturday’s poll.
>> To see on France 24: Two years of Hirak in Algeria: what future for the protest movement?
As the election deadline approaches, the regime has stepped up arrests and legal proceedings against and legal proceedings targeting political opponents, Iraqi activists, lawyers and independent journalists.
Some 222 people are currently imprisoned for acts related to Hirak and / or individual freedoms, according to the National Committee for the Release of Prisoners (CNLD), a support association.