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Algeria cracks down on press as protest movement persists

Algeria's massive protest movement, temporarily stifled by the pandemic, is also seeing many activists and journalists jailed as the government.
Algerian journalists gather in protest to demand the release of their colleague Khaled Drareni (poster), who was sentenced earlier this month to three years in jail for "inciting an unarmed gathering" and "endangering national unity", in the capital Algiers on August 24, 2020. - The Algerian justice system has in recent months increased the court cases and convictions against alleged Hirak militants, opposition politicians, journalists and social media users. (Photo by RYAD KRAMDI / AFP) (Photo by RYAD KRAM

With coronavirus restrictions limiting its public activities, the Algerian protest movement Hirak has found itself under fresh attack, with many of its most vocal proponents jailed as part of a government campaign that rights groups, such as Amnesty International, have slammed as "unprecedented" within the country's recent history. 

From its outset in February of last year, the protests presented an unrelenting and unparalleled challenge to the very core of Algerian political power, the pouvoir, the mysterious cadre of military and state apparatchiks that encircle the presidency. 

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