Algerian prisoner pardon


Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune pardoned more than 3000 prisoners serving sentences shorter than six months as he seeks to win support after months of political turmoil.

Tebboune, elected in December in a vote opposed by a protest movement seeking replacement of the entire ruling elite, said his top priority is to restore confidence.

Thousands of people still protest every Friday, but numbers have waned since Tebboune’s election and his offer of talks with the opposition.

Last month he ordered the release of dozens of people detained for taking part in the protests.

He promised a process offering constitutional amendments through a referendum to give parliament a bigger role and increase political freedoms.

A court in Algiers on Monday acquitted Samir Benlarbi, an activist and leading member of the protest movement detained for over four months for “harming national unity”.

Other activists are still in detention pending trail in Algiers and elsewhere, but it is unclear whether the 3 471 people pardoned on Tuesday include detentions for involvement in the recent political unrest.