Algeria Media Arrest: Doubts Over Tebboune’s 2nd Term

Algeria Media Arrest: Doubts Over Tebboune’s 2nd Term

A leading media figure, who is critical of the government of Algeria, has been arrested, following what many suspect is a crack down of the state on what was considered the last genuinely independent free voice in the country, as the elite prepare for elections in 2024

Ihsane El-Kadi, who directs Radio M, considered “the last and fragile space for free debate in Algeria” by Le Monde, was arrested on the night of 23rd December at home in Zemmouri.

Ihsane El-Kadi, who has been facing constant judicial harassment for more than three years – he was sentenced, in June 2021, to six months in prison without a warrant for an opinion article on the place of Islamists in the Hirak – which came to a head in December during an appeal process which he appeared at one point to have won, according to local reports.

The so-called ‘hirak’ movement demanding a democratic transition of power had led to the ousting of Abdelaziz Bouteflika, the late president who had sought a fifth term in office despite a debilitating stroke that had kept him largely out of view for six years.

Algeria’s military, which backed Bouteflika and who largely control politics in the country, were forced to push him out after several months of demonstrations but they refused to bow down to protesters demands for a democratic overhaul of the political system.

For this latest raid, which involved seizing computers and sealing off the building of the media operation, local journalists can only speculate it was following a recent article about the President’s possible second term and the apparent seizure of 20 billion dollars of money from corrupt “oligarchs’ loyal to the previous President.

International media watchdog Reporters Without Frontiers called for his immediate release on December 26.

No indication has been given officially on the reasons for this new arrest. Is this a recent article in which Ihsane El-Kadi evoked the attitude of the army about a possible second term of President Abdelmadjid Tebboune? According to a recent tweet of his, he doubts whether Tebboune can pull off a second term at the polls.

The Maghreb region is undergoing political turmoil and similar arrests are going on both in Tunisia and Morocco, it should be noted, although that hasn’t stopped the state-friendly websites in Rabat making capital of the arrest of El-Kadi, despite Moroccan journalists also being charged with very dubious allegations made against them.


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