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Algeria: Singer arrested over a video published on social media

24 June 2021
Image: Singer Zakia Mohammed / Zakia Mohamed زكية محمد on Facebook

 

On 11 June 2021, Algerian security services arrested singer Zakia Mohammed after she posted a video online calling on the Algerian authorities to “stop arbitrary arrests”, reported Al-Quds.

After her release, the artist said in a Facebook post that she was detained for over five hours at the Cavignac police station.

شكرا على سؤالكم خاوتي ✌️ الحراك مستمر

Posted by ‎Zakia Mohamed زكية محمد‎ on Friday, June 11, 2021

 

A day before the arrest, on 10 June 2021, Mohammed posted a video on Facebook in which she spoke about President Abdelmadjid Tebboune’s interview with Al-Jazeera about freedom of expression. The artist called on the Algerian authorities to “stop arbitrary arrests” in the country.

Zakia Mohammed is considered one of the faces of the protest movement Hirak.

The Hirak Movement emerged in February 2019, protesting President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s intention to run for a fifth term.

Freemuse’s State of Artistic Freedom 2021 report mentions situations where artists have been targeted in Algeria due to their connections to the Hirak Movement. On 11 December 2019, cartoonist and painter Abdelhamid ‘Nime’ Amine was sentenced one-year suspendered sentence, including three months in prison for “insulting the president of the republic and the chief of staff of the army” through his political cartoons in support of the Hirak Movement. Another artist known for his support of the Hirak Movement poet and activist Mohamed Tadjadit was arrested on 23 August 2020 in Algiers and accused of national security-related charges.

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