Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Algeria: British-Algerian journalist dies after hunger strike - NEWS

The Guardian
December 11, 2016
     A British-Algerian journalist has died after staging a hunger strike in protest against a two-year jail term for offending Algeria’s president in a poem posted online, according to his lawyer.
     “I can confirm the death of the journalist Mohamed Tamalt in Bab el-Oued hospital after a hunger strike of more than three months and a three-month coma,” Amine Sidhoum said on Facebook.
The prison service said in a statement Tamalt had died of a lung infection for which he was receiving treatment since it was detected on 4 December. He had been in hospital since the end of August. Tamalt, a dual national, launched the hunger strike on the day of his arrest near his parents’ house in the capital Algiers on 27 June, according to Human Rights Watch.
     The 42-year-old blogger and freelance journalist, who ran a website from London where he lived, was charged with offending President Abdelaziz Bouteflika and defaming a public authority, in the poem he shared on Facebook. A court in Algiers sentenced him to two years in prison on 11 July and fined him 200,000 dinars (£1,400). An appeals court upheld the ruling a month later.
     Amnesty International urged Algerian authorities on Sunday to open an “independent and transparent investigation into the circumstances” of the journalist’s death.

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