Algiers, Algeria – (African Boulevard News) – Algeria’s prominent opposition figure, Karim Tabbou, has once again been arrested after meeting with families of imprisoned activists. Tabbou was taken by authorities on Monday, May 23, 2023, at his house in Algiers, according to his relatives.
Tabbou has been detained and prosecuted multiple times since the start of the country’s protests in early 2019. In March 2020, Tabbou was imprisoned for six months after being convicted of “incitement to violence and an attack on the nation’s integrity.” He has been facing charges related to his activism against Algeria’s ruling elite.
Tabbou was one of the most-recognisable faces during unprecedented mass rallies, led by the Hirak pro-democracy movement, that began in February 2019. The movement emerged after President Abdelaziz Bouteflika announced his bid for a fifth term in power, sparking mass protests across the country.
Many Algerians saw Tabbou’s detention as part of a broader crackdown on opposition figures and journalists who had been critical of the government. Experts say the arrests show the ruling elite’s determination to silence voices calling for change in the country.
“We always knew the regime was going to go after Tabbou and other opposition figures,” said Nadia Kaci, a journalist and human rights activist. “His arrest sends a clear message to all those who dare to speak out against the government’s oppressive practices.”
Human rights organizations have criticized Algeria’s treatment of opposition figures, with many calling for their immediate release. Amnesty International condemned Tabbou’s arrest and called on Algerian authorities to release him immediately and unconditionally.
“The Algerian authorities must stop this relentless repression against peaceful activists, journalists, and opposition figures,” said Amna Guellali, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director. “Tabbou’s arrest is yet another example of the government’s determination to crush dissent and stifle free speech.”
The Hirak movement has called for Tabbou’s immediate release, with many taking to social media to express their support for him. However, the Algerian government has not yet released any statement regarding Tabbou’s arrest.
In conclusion, the arrest and detention of Karim Tabbou is yet another setback for Algeria’s democratic aspirations. The government’s crackdown on opposition figures, activists, and journalists is a clear violation of human rights and undermines the country’s democratic credentials. Algeria’s ruling elite must stop its repressive practices and allow for free and fair elections to take place.