Saturday 24 February 2018

Algeria court acquits 6 Mozabite Berber activists

Algeria court acquits 6 Mozabite Berber activists
(AFP (eng) 01/19/18)

Six Mozabite Berber activists accused of attempting to overthrow the Algerian government and damage state security were acquitted in court on Thursday, their lawyer said.

"Justice has been done in this trial that should never have taken place," Mustapha Bouchachi told AFP from Ghardaia, 600 kilometres (370 miles) south of Algiers, where the trial was held.

The six defendants were part of a mediation team set up to halt intercommunal violence between Mozabites and Arabs that left at least 35 dead between December 2013 and July 2015 in the Ghardaia region.

They had been accused of running two Facebook pages with posts deemed to breed hatred and causing damage to state security, charges that carry the death sentence in Algeria but which they denied.

A leading advocate of Mozabite rights, Kamel Eddine Fekhar, arrested in 2015 on the sidelines of the violence, was released last July after serving two years behind bars for public order offences.

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