Algeria: Opposition Figure Amira Bouraoui Sentenced to Ten Years in Absentia

Soukaina Sghir
Soukaina Sghir
2 Min Read

The Constantine court in Algeria sentenced Franco-Algerian opposition figure Amira Bouraoui to ten years in prison in absentia. Journalist Mustapha Bendjama, accused of assisting her in fleeing to France, was sentenced to six months in prison.

In Algeria, the judiciary delivered its verdict on Tuesday morning in the case of Amira Bouraoui. Her departure to France via Tunisia in February of this year led to a diplomatic crisis between Algiers and Paris. Amira Bouraoui has been sentenced in absentia to ten years in prison.

The Constantine court followed the prosecutor’s requisitions with this conviction against Amira Bouraoui.

This 46-year-old Franco-Algerian opposition figure, a trained physician, had become known in Algeria for her activism against the fourth term of former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika and her involvement in the Hirak, a popular uprising that led to Bouteflika’s departure.

Amira Bouraoui was tried in absentia for “illegal exit from the country.” In February, the opposition figure had defied a travel ban, leaving Algeria for Tunisia. She was subsequently arrested in Tunis but managed to board a flight to France three days later.

The case triggered a diplomatic crisis: Algiers recalled its ambassador to Paris for consultations and accused the French diplomatic and security personnel of facilitating an illegal exfiltration.

This morning, several other individuals were sentenced in the same case, including co-defendants suspected of assisting Amira Bouraoui in leaving Algerian territory. This group includes her 71-year-old mother, who received a one-year suspended sentence, and journalist Mustapha Bendjama, who was sentenced to six months in prison.

Soukaina Sghir

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