In less than a week, about fifty arrests have been recorded, affecting political parties and civil society organizations. Those arrested include Karim Tabbou, Samir Ben Larbi and Fodil Boumala, three Hirak figures. Said Salhi, vice-president of the Algerian League of Human Rights (LADDH), said the arrests are a worrying intimidation attempt targeting the most prominent activists in an attempt to break the popular movement. In a statement, Kadour Chouicha, representative of the office of the LADDH and trade unionist (SNAPAP) called for the continuation of the popular mobilization.
On September 15th, Acting Head of State Abdelkader Bensalah announced that the presidential elections will be held on 12 December. The announced date coincides with the deadlines demanded by the chief of staff of the army, Ahmed Gaïd Salah, who has positioned himself as a strongman since the forced resignation of president Abdelaziz Bouteflika on April 2. Authorities had already tried twice to hold elections (April 19 and July 4), but this third attempt since the beginning of the massive popular protest movement on February 22, 2019 is accompanied by a crackdown by authorities.
Forces of civil society and the opposition immediately mobilized against what they consider "an electoral coup". On September 17, for the thirtieth Tuesday of mobilization, students massively demonstrated in the streets, supported by civil society associations, unions and political activists.
On September 18, the Algerian army said it would prevent protesters from other regions from joining the processions in the capital Algiers. The Algerian League for the Defense of Human Rights (LADDH) immediately condemned this measure which violates Article 55 of the Constitution on the freedom of movement in the national territory.
For the first time since the beginning of Hirak in February, in contrast with the earlier silence by the international community, the European Parliament has commented on the situation in Algeria. In a statement issued on September 13, the President of the European Parliament's Human Rights Subcommittee Maria Arena condemned the arrest of Karim Tabou and called on the Algerian authorities to "release political prisoners" and to listen to the claims of the popular Hirak.