Thousands of police have moved into Algeria’s capital, Algiers, ahead of an anti-government march planned for Saturday.
Officials have banned the march by demonstrators demanding greater democratic freedoms, a change of government, and more jobs.
In an effort to placate protesters, the government has announced that it will soon lift a 19-year state of emergency, implemented in 1992 to counteract a rising Islamist insurgency.
Anti-riot vehicles were seen parked not far from the square where the rally is scheduled to begin, and police in uniform patrolled surrounding streets.
The rally is organized by an umbrella group of human rights activists and union workers, who cite the same problems of high unemployment, housing problems and soaring costs that have inspired uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt.
Algeria underwent several days of unrest in January, in which police scuffled with demonstrators trying to march to a government building to protest their living conditions. Opposition leaders said at least 42 people were injured.