Journalist imprisoned for offending Algerian president dies on hunger strike

Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika on April 28, 2014. Journalist Mohamed Tamalt was imprisoned for insulting the president and died Sunday from a hunger strike. AP Photo/Sidali Djarboub

ALGIERS, Algeria – A lawyer says an Algerian journalist on a hunger strike to protest a two-year sentence for offending President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has died in a hospital in the capital.

Journalist Mohamed Tamalt died Sunday after falling into a coma following months of a hunger strike, his lawyer Amine Sidhoum told The Associated Press.

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Amnesty International, which had called for the release of the 41-year-old Tamalt, asked Algerian authorities in a statement to “launch an independent, in-depth and transparent inquiry” into his death.

Tamalt was arrested in his Algiers home in June. He was convicted of “harming the institutions of the republic” and “offending” Bouteflika following critical pieces posted on his Facebook page. He was transferred to an Algiers hospital in August after going on a hunger strike.


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