An Algerian court on Wednesday slapped an eight-month suspended prison sentence and a 1,000-euro ($1,250) fine on a blogger who had called for a boycott of the May 10 legislative election.
The Algiers court found Tarek Mameri, 23, guilty of destroying property, setting administrative documents on fire and inciting public gatherings.
"This sentence is directed at all human rights activists. We are going to appeal and undertake all the necessary moves to have this decision overturned," Mameri's lawyer Amine Sidhom told AFP.
"The length of the sentence means nothing to me because I consider the court to have unfairly convicted me," he told AFP upon exiting the court room.
The young blogger was initially detained on May 2 for posting videos on his blog calling for a boycott of last month's parliamentary election.
State prosecution had sought a three-year prison sentence on June 14th.
Algerian authorities who feared for a bad turnout on election had launched an important campaign urging the population to vote.
But many Algerians opted to boycott the vote as a way of protesting the status quo in the oil-rich north African nation at a time when the Arab Spring was bringing sweeping political change to other countries in the region.
Official election results put the turnout at 43 percent, a figure that opposition parties and experts argued was grossly inflated.
The young blogger never denied the charges brought against him.
"Yes, I destroyed electoral placards and burned my voter's card... I opted to do that rather than immolate myself," the young blogger told the state prosecutor last month.
Several journalists have also been sentenced to prison terms for defamation in recent months.
Fatma-Zohra Amara, a journalist writing for daily newspaper Akher Saa was condemned to two years in jail for defamation even though press offence has been decriminalised since the end of 2011. In addition, Amara was fined 20,000 Dinars (200 Euros) and condemned to pay 100,000 Dinars (1000 Euros) to the plaintiff. She was taken to court after she reported on the trial of a hospital manager accused of sexual harrasment by one of his employees.
The National Union for Journalists (SNJ) was "surprised" by the verdict. as "press offence does not justify emprisonment according to a law revised in november 2011".
Amara said she was "schocked" by what she described as a "hrash condemnation" especially since "president Abdelaziz Bouteflika committed to guarantee freedom of the press and expression". Amara added she will appeal to the court's judgment.
The SNJ said another journalist from the daily La Nouvelle République was sentenced to two months in jail and fined 500 euros in Mascara for defamation against the head of the local tax office.
The SNJ called the government to put an " immediate end to this judicial campaign against media professionals".