Algeria jails journo over demo

Algerians gather on Oct5, 2018 in Algiers’ Martyrs Square to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the outbreak of the October 1988 demonstrations. (AFP pic)

ALGIERS: An Algerian court on Tuesday sentenced a journalist to one year in jail for taking part in an illegal protest, his lawyer said.

Adlene Mellah, who heads the news websites Algerie Direct and Dzair Presse, was arrested on Dec 9 for participating in a rally of solidarity for a singer who has been jailed since October.

He was accused of taking part in an illegal protest and incitement to demonstrate, the lawyer Abdel Ghani Badi told AFP, adding that he would appeal the sentence.

“I am shocked to see Algerian citizens accused of unlawful protests in 2018 when the right to demonstrate is guaranteed by the constitution,” the lawyer said.

Last week the state prosecutor demanded Mellah be jailed for three years.

Mellah is due to appear in court on Feb 7 in another case in which he is accused of “bribery, defamation and violation of privacy”, according to his lawyers.