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Two Algerian major opposition figures released from jail

ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — Two of the most prominent figures in Algeria's anti-government protest movement were released from prison Thursday following court decisions in their favor. Activists Karim Tabbou and Amira Bouraoui were freed from the prison in Kolea, west of Algiers, and placed under judicial supervision.

The court decisions came a day after Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune granted amnesty to six other anti-government activists ahead of the country's Independence Day, which commemorates Algeria achieving independence from France on July 5, 1962.

Mass demonstrations last year brought down the long-time president of Africa’s largest country, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, and his entourage in April 2019. The pro-democracy movement is looking for more change in a nation whose rulers have been shadowed by the army since its independence.

Tabbou's lawyer, Abdelghani Badi, said in a Facebook post that an Algiers court granted a request for the release of Tabbou, who is also asking for the end of judicial proceedings against him. Tabbou was sentenced on March 24 to a year in prison, including six months suspended, for “weakening army morale."

Bouraoui, a gynecologist,also was released after spending 11 days in prison, her lawyer, Mustapha Bouchachi ,said. She had been sentenced to a year in prison on June 21 by the court of Cheraga, in the western suburb of Algiers, for “insulting the president," “publishing information likely to harm public order” and “inciting” people to gather, amid other accusations.

Bouraoui is known as the co-funder of the “Barakat!” (Enough) group that opposed Bouteflika’s decision to run for a fourth term in 2014. Another activist from the anti-government movement, Samir Benlarbi, was also released on Thursday.

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