Ihsane El Kadi sentenced to 7 years by Algerian court

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Algeria’s crackdown on media continues to shock the world.

High-profile Algerian journalist Ihsane El Kadi has been sentenced to three years in prison by the Sidi M’Hamed court in Algiers, which has accused him of “foreign financing of his business”, AFP reported.

El Kadi, who owns one of the few independent media groups in the country and is critical of the government, was given a sentence of five years, three of which he must serve in jail, the court ruled on June 18th.

But there was more as the court didn’t just stop at hitting El Kadi but also went for his media company as well ensuring that it could never recover and start again.

The court ruled that Interface Media, which operates Maghreb Emergent and the other outlet El Kadi runs, Radio M, should be dissolved. The court levied a number of fines on the company and on El Kadi himself totalling 11.7 million Algerian dinars ($86,200).

The journalist was first arrested on December 24 and has been detained since then under a state security law that prohibits the receiving of funds that threaten state security or “national unity”, the news website he directs, Maghreb Emergent, had said at the time.

Interface Media had its headquarters sealed off and its documents seized following the journalist’s arrest.

“We are going to appeal this judgement within the required timeframe,” Abdelghani Badi, one of El Kadi’s lawyers who boycotted the hearing, told AFP.

El Kadi’s arrest has been condemned by human rights organisations like Amnesty International and journalists’ rights groups from Reporters Without Borders to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).

A petition calling for his release was signed by thousands of people.

Al Jazeera/AFP


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