Africa

Hundreds bury Algerian journalist who died on hunger strike

  • People carry the coffin of Algerian journalist, Mohamed Tamalt, during a funeral service in Algiers, Algeria, Monday, Dec. 12, 2016. On a hunger strike to protest a two-year sentence for offending President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, Tamalt has died in a hospital in the capital. (AP Photo/Sidali Djarboub)

    People carry the coffin of Algerian journalist, Mohamed Tamalt, during a funeral service in Algiers, Algeria, Monday, Dec. 12, 2016. On a hunger strike to protest a two-year sentence for offending President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, Tamalt has died in a hospital in the capital. (AP Photo/Sidali Djarboub)  (The Associated Press)

  • People carry the coffin of Algerian journalist, Mohamed Tamalt, during a funeral service in Algiers, Algeria, Monday, Dec. 12, 2016. On a hunger strike to protest a two-year sentence for offending President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, Tamalt has died in a hospital in the capital. (AP Photo/Sidali Djarboub)

    People carry the coffin of Algerian journalist, Mohamed Tamalt, during a funeral service in Algiers, Algeria, Monday, Dec. 12, 2016. On a hunger strike to protest a two-year sentence for offending President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, Tamalt has died in a hospital in the capital. (AP Photo/Sidali Djarboub)  (The Associated Press)

  • People carry the coffin of Algerian journalist, Mohamed Tamalt, during a funeral service in Algiers, Algeria, Monday, Dec. 12, 2016. On a hunger strike to protest a two-year sentence for offending President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, Tamalt has died in a hospital in the capital. (AP Photo/Sidali Djarboub)

    People carry the coffin of Algerian journalist, Mohamed Tamalt, during a funeral service in Algiers, Algeria, Monday, Dec. 12, 2016. On a hunger strike to protest a two-year sentence for offending President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, Tamalt has died in a hospital in the capital. (AP Photo/Sidali Djarboub)  (The Associated Press)

Hundreds of people have attended the funeral of a freelance journalist in Algeria who died during a months-long hunger strike protesting his prison sentence for insulting President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

As Mohamed Tamalt's coffin was lowered into a grave on Monday, some decried the north African nation's restrictive media laws. Fellow journalist Mohamed Sidemou said Tamalt's death "serves as a lesson."

Tamalt's lawyer, Amine Sidhoum, says his 42-year-old client died on Sunday at an Algiers hospital after falling into a coma.

Tamalt lived in Britain but was arrested in June while visiting his family in Algeria. He was convicted in July of insulting Bouteflika and defaming Algeria institutions in writings on Facebook.

An appeals court upheld the verdict and two-year sentence.

Tumult stopped eating almost immediately to defend freedom of expression.