Health of jailed journalist Adlène Mellah worsening

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Original artwork depicting an artist's rendition of the conditions of solitary confinement. This image was based on surveys conducted by the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism with Wisconsin prisoners in administrative confinement. Credit: Emily Shullaw for the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism

Arrested early December and subsequently sentenced for a year in prison, journalist Adlène Mellah’s health has been deteriorating following the start of a hunger striker more than three weeks ago. He is said to be detained in solitary confinement, a controversial practice outlawed by many countries.

Adlène Mellah

As a reminder, Adlène Mellah was sentenced on Tuesday, December 25 by the court of Bab El Oued, for an unauthorised public gathering. The journalist was arrested on December the 8th, on the sidelines of a rally near the Algerian National Theater. His lawyers have appealed the verdict.

A new trial is expected before the end of January at the Algiers Court. Zoubida Assoul, lawyer and human rights activist, told the press that the detainee “still has a fighting spirit despite the first signs of physical weakening“.

For SAEPE, a representative union of the online press, and a number of other analysts, Adlene Mellah was arrested and imprisoned for his writings and statements in videos hostile to the regime.

Public protests have been made illegal in the capital Algiers for over 10 years now.

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