Algerian Activist Gets One Year Sentence for Criticizing Government on Facebook

Amazigh activist Salim Yezza received a one year suspended sentence after he criticized on Facebook the Algerian government’s treatment of minorities.

Yezza criticized the authorities’ discriminatory policy against the Mozabites, an Amazigh or Berber – ethnic minority in the Ghardaia region.

The France-based activist was arrested on July 14 at the Biskra airport as he was returning to Paris after a visit.

He was tried on charges of inciting a public gathering under article 100 of the penal code and disseminating calls of hatred and discrimination under article 295 (1).

His arrest along with the verdict was met with indignation by rights groups including Human Rights Watch.

“More than three years after deadly clashes in Ghardaia, the authorities are busy searching for scapegoats rather than taking the necessary steps to investigate what happened,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch.

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