The Algerian authorities must immediately end an escalating campaign of media harassment which has recently seen two prominent journalists handed harsh prison sentences simply for expressing their views or for covering protests, said Amnesty International today.
Since the Hirak protest movement, which is calling for radical political change in Algeria, started in February 2019, at least eight journalists have been imprisoned over their reporting or social media posts, often after being convicted on bogus charges such as “harming Algeria’s territorial integrity”, “insulting the president of the republic” or “inciting a gathering”. Several news websites well known for their critical stance towards the government are facing disruption to their accessibility via Algerian networks.
“The Algerian authorities are willing to do whatever it takes to silence criticism. Journalists have recently been imprisoned for sharing videos, criticizing the president, and expressing support for protest movements,” said Amna Guellali, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa.