Hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside the Court of Algiers in the capital on Tuesday, September 8, ahead of the appeal trial of journalist Khaled Drareni and two other activists. Protesters chanted slogans and held placards demanding the accused be acquitted and criticizing the lack of free press. There were no reports of any arrests or clashes during the protest. As of Tuesday evening (local time), the verdict on the trial was still awaited and if the jail sentence is upheld then demonstrations are likely to continue.
Further unrest over the issue is possible in Algiers over the near term and a heightened security presence and localized disruptions are possible in the vicinity of any demonstrations.
Drareni was arrested in March on charges relating to his coverage of anti-government demonstrations, and he was sentenced to three years in prison on August 10. His arrest has sparked a series of protests in Algeria, with solidarity protests also being held by journalists abroad, including in Tunis and Paris.
Those in Algiers are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all demonstrations and political gatherings as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.
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