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Algeria frees journalist after one year in captivity

An Algerian court has released a journalist a month after he was sentenced to one year in jail for partaking in an unauthorised protest, his lawyer disclosed.

Adlene Mellah, who heads the news websites Algerie Direct and Dzair Presse, got arrested on December 9 for attending a rally organized to support an imprisoned singer.

He was found guilty of unlawful assembly and sentenced to one year in jail on December 25 2018.

On Wednesday, he was given a suspended six-month sentence and released him on appeal, by a court in Algiers, his lawyer revealed.

Mellah was first arrested on October 22 for a separate case of alleged blackmail, before being released a month later.

He still faces charges of blackmail, defamation and invasion of privacy in that case which is due go before a court on February 7.

Media watchdog Reporters Without Borders ranked Algeria 136th out of 180 countries on its press freedom index for 2018.

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