"In Bouteflika's day, there was fear, today there is terror."
He was the first in Algeria to brand a sign against the 5th term of Abdelaziz Bouteflika. For this gesture, he spent 6 months in prison. Today free, Hadj Ghermoul tells. pic.twitter.com/y0pGGm6xsb
– Gross FR (@brutofficiel) 30 сентября 2019 г.
"I am unemployed, my social problems I saw them as a political problem," he says, adding that, like him, all members of the National Committee for the Defense of the Rights of the Unemployed (CNDDC), of which he is also a member, were convinced of the same idea.
Thus, he decided to write and publish his "no to the 5th mandate" sign, stating that "two days after his publication on social networks, he was accused and imprisoned".
In prison, Hadj Ghermoul says that "we did not have access to information". "We were informed thanks to the families of the detainees who came to visit their relatives," he adds, adding that this is how "we knew that the people had taken to the streets peacefully."
It was a great source of joy, he said, arguing that the idea of a popular revolution to change the political system in Algeria had won many inmates.
The day of his release from prison, Mr. Gharmoul was surprised by the solidarity that the Algerians had with him during the six months of his incarceration, in particular by the fact that many people considered him "like a hero ".
"I'm not a hero," he insists, saying "what I did, no matter who could have done it". "The hero is the Algerian people, it is he who drives Bouteflika out of power by going out every Friday."
Addressing the issue of presidential elections, Hadj Gharmoul said that "this vote we refuse because we do not trust this power," lamenting the arrest of several protesters and political figures.
An activist of the Algerian League for the Defense of Human Rights (LADDH) and a member of the National Committee for the Defense of the Rights of the Unemployed (CNDDC), Hadj Ghermoul was sentenced to six months' imprisonment for "contempt of association".