Protests in Algeria to demand an independent judiciary

Algeria-protest

Social tensions and protests in Algeria continue. This time, the demonstrators took to the streets in the capital Algiers and other cities of the country, on Friday, for the independence of the judiciary, which is trying several political opponents, as well as several supporters of the Hirak protest movement.

Hundreds of people demonstrated in Algiers, like every Friday for the past two months, to protest against the ruling authority and its leaders who they consider “illegal”. Protesters carried banners showing their demands and pictures of people arrested for participating in the movement. According to the National Committee for the Release of Detainees, there are about 30 people behind bars. “We want an independent judiciary,” said Muhammad, 59, adding that the humiliation and injustice must stop.

A protester carried a banner in support of Judge Saad Eddin Marzouq, suspended from work and referred to the Supreme Judicial Council. The Ministry of Justice is also prosecuting the judge for his positions in support of the movement and as one of his faces in the judiciary.

“When a judge’s freedom of expression is threatened, how can he protect the freedom of expression of his citizens?” Saad Eddin Marzouq told AFP. “This judge is a free, fair, and clean man,” said Linda, 40, a sports teacher who took part in yesterday’s protest, stressing how the North African country needs men of principles today more than ever. Judge Ahmed Belhadi is also expected to appear before the Supreme Judiciary in the coming days, against the background of issues relating to the movement and its participation in the protests calling for the democratization of the Algerian judiciary.

Demonstrations also took place in Tizi Ouzou, Bejaia, Skikda, Annaba in the east and Oran in the west of the country, according to photos posted on social networking sites, Friday 111 of the movement, according to the number of demonstrators, since its inception the February 22, 2019, which coincides with the second anniversary of the resignation of former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika on April 2, 2019 after pressure from the road and the army.

The protests in Algeria of 2019-2020, also known as the Algerian spring, the smile revolution, or the Hirak movement, are a series of protests in numerous cities, which began in February 2019 against the candidacy for the fifth term, and the extension of the fourth, of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

The intensification of the protests forced Bouteflika, initially, to cancel his candidacy for the fifth term and, finally, to his resignation following the ultimatum by the Army Chief of Staff Ahmed Gaid Salah. These demonstrations were mainly peaceful, however some clashes resulted in two deaths and a hundred injured.

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