A former Algerian police officer who joined the country’s Hirak protest movement has been sentenced to two years in jail for threatening security officials and divulging professional information online.

Toufik Hassani became popular after he apologised to students who were brutalised by police during their demonstrations in October 2019.

A prisoners’ rights group, the National Committee for the Release of Prisoners (CNLD), said some 45 other people are in jail for charges linked to online posts.

Journalist Khaled Drareni was on Tuesday sentenced to two years in prison for covering protests.

Human rights groups have condemned arrests of journalists and protesters.

The Hirak movement led protests against then-President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s bid for a fifth term after nearly 20 years in power.

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