Algeria: 2 more journalists arrested in crackdown on dissent 

Algeria: 2 more journalists arrested in crackdown on dissent 

While Algeria prepares for a presidential election in September of this year, the crackdown on freedom of expression comes harsher than ever.

Algerian authorities have arrested two journalists for publishing a video showing businesswomen protesting their negative treatment at a government-sponsored event, reports AFP and Euronews. 

News website employees from “Algerie Scoop”, Ferhat Omar, the website director and editor-in-chief Sofiane Ghirous were detained on the 29th of June.

Authorities claimed that the broadcasted material “constituted incitement and hate speech” according to a statement from the National Committee for the Liberation of Detainees.

In the video, women start-up founders accused the government of “humiliating” and treating them with “contempt” at an innovation event organised by the Ministry of Education and Professional Training.

This arrest comes after a long line of journalists and rights activists, who have also been detained in Algeria for similar reasons. 

READ: Algerian journalist deported from his own country 

The popular news website, Radio M, announced it would cease publication earlier this month due to the “impossible conditions” placed on them, as its editor, Ihsane El Kadi, serves a five-year prison sentence. He was allegedly charged with his media company accepting foreign funds for his coverage, which was often critical of the government. 

On the 30th of June, authorities also raided a bookstore in the city of Bejaia called the Librairie Gouraya. The aim was to prevent the sale of “‘shared Kabylia” where a book signing was scheduled for its French author, Dominique Martre. In the book, Martre recounts her experiences teaching French in the mountainous region of Kabylia in the 1970s.

READ: The Kabyle: Algeria’s worst kept secret 

Martre was briefly arrested along with the Algerian publisher and several others including journalists and activists. 

Monitoring the pattern, the press freedom group, Reporters Without Borders, recently downgraded Algeria on its freedom of expression index to 139th out of a total of 180 countries in 2024 while decrying the country’s “pressure on independent media and threats to arrest journalists.“ 

In a country where people are trying to speak out about day-to-day issues, many are now too scared in fear that they will be arrested by authorities for simply speaking their minds. 

AFP/ Euronews. 


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