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Algerian Security Denies Mistreating Female Protesters

Algerian Security Denies Mistreating Female Protesters

Tuesday, 16 April, 2019 - 08:00
Women protesting in an anti-Bouteflika demonstration in Algeria on March 8. 2019. Photo: (Anis Belghoul/AP)
Algiers - Boualem Goumrassa
Security agencies in Algeria have denied rumors circulating on the mistreatment of protesters in detention centers after judicial complaints that four female activists had been forced to get undressed.

The report came along with a video that has gone viral on social media. The four women were arrested last Saturday during a sit-in.

The communication cell of the security of Algiers released a statement on Monday denying the report. The four women, who were accompanied by six men, were transferred to a police station in Baraki for a preliminary procedure to search the four detainees by a female officer.

This procedure aims to seize any tool that the detainee might use to harm himself or others. Then all of them were released under normal circumstances, added the statement.

It described the reports as baseless, saying they seek to defame Algeria’s national security body.

Lawyer and rights activist Abdel-Ghani Badi said he filed a complaint to the public prosecutor on behalf of the four activists accusing the police body of ‘psychological torture’.

Fethi Ghares, spokesman for the Democratic and Social Movement (MDS), told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that the way the activists were treated confirms that the remnants of Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s regime continue to have a say in decision-making.

Meanwhile, protest leader Mustafa Bushashi posted on Facebook that the Saad Dahlab University of Blida banned him from entering the university where he was invited to speak about the ongoing protests.

He apologized to the students for failing to hold discussions on the demonstrations that have rocked the country for the past two months.

Bushashi told Asharq Al-Awsat during a phone call that he has been hosted by several universities since the beginning of strikes in universities on April 4. He said that he had spoken freely about the events and consequences, and tackled all topics that are of interest to the society especially the need for regime figures to depart.

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