ALGIERS, 5 February 2021 – A court in Algeria has requested that a young pro-democracy Algerian activist be sentence to life in prison for his role in 2019 street protests.

The Dar El-Beida court in the capital, Algiers, made the request Monday, the toughest ever against any of the defendants arrested during the protests which erupted in February 2019.

Walid Nekiche on Twitter

Walid Nekiche on Twitter

Known as “Hirak”, the protests forced the regime of former Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to step down.

The defendant, Walid Nekiche, a young student from Tizi Ouzou, was napped during the protests, allegedly tortured at one of the military barracks and held in jail since then.

Nekiche is on trial for allegedly plotting against the state and of being a threat to national security, according to the online media portal Algerie Part Plus.

The protests sought to and successfully prevented Bouteflika from running for another presidential term.

Many journalists, human rights defenders, opposition figures and civil society activists were arrested, tried and jailed for their role in the “Hirak”.

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