World Algeria: trial of a journalist and symbol of press freedom

17:25  03 august  2020
17:25  03 august  2020 Source:   ouest-france.fr

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Journalists covering the “Hirak” protests that began in February 2019 are often detained for questioning, placed in police custody or even jailed for extended An unstable political environment is increasing the threats to the freedom to inform in Algeria . in the 2020 World Press Freedom Index.

No journalists practice journalism , although they are required to have a have been reported killed in the course of conducting their permit to cover government events. however indicator 5 lagged behind by about three-quarters of a point while indicator 7 (modern facilities and equipment) Bouchachi

Le tribunal de Sidi M'hamed à Alger, le 3 août 2020 © RYAD KRAMDI Sidi M'hamed court in Algiers, August 3, 2020

The trial of Algerian journalist Khaled Drareni, who has become a symbol of the fight for press freedom in Algeria, and two members of the anti-regime protest movement is due to open Monday, according to judicial sources.

The first hearing will be held in the afternoon at the Sidi M'hamed court in Algiers.

Arrested in March, Mr. Drareni, 40, is the director of the online news site Casbah Tribune and the correspondent of the French television channel Tv5Monde and the NGO Reporters Without Borders (RSF) in Algeria.

Incarcerated in the Kolea penitentiary center, near Algiers, he was placed in preventive detention on March 29.

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A press suffering from multifaceted pressures. The judicial practices stifle journalists ’ everyday of Algeria has caused a lot of tension. The future of the country has been questioned for many Today the family of the journalist asks for access to his medical file and the opening of an

Mr. Drareni is accused of "inciting an unarmed assembly and attacking the integrity of the national territory" after having covered in early March in Algiers a demonstration of "Hirak", the popular uprising that shook Algeria for over a year until his suspension a few months ago due to the Covid-19 epidemic.

L'opposant algérien et co-accusé de Khaled Drareni, Slimane Hamitouche, le 3 août 2020 à Alger © RYAD KRAMDI The Algerian opponent and co-accused of Khaled Drareni, Slimane Hamitouche, August 3, 2020 in Algiers

He risks up to 10 years in prison.

Khaled Drareni is being tried alongside two figures from the “Hirak”, Samir Benlarbi and Slimane Hamitouche, who are on parole.

Accused of the same charges, the latter two were granted provisional release on July 2, which had perplexed the lawyers of Mr. Drareni, who was kept in prison.

Algeria journalist 'press freedom' trial opens

  Algeria journalist 'press freedom' trial opens The trial opened Monday of Algerian journalist Khaled Drareni, who has become a figurehead of press freedom in the North African country, with the prosecution calling for a four-year prison term. The prosecutor at the Algiers court also called for Drareni's two co-accused to be jailed for four years, as well as all three facing heavy fines and being stripped of their civic rights, judicial sources said. Drareni, 40, who ran the Casbah Tribune website and was a correspondent for French-language television channel TV5Monde, was arrested in March while covering an anti-government protest.

A journalist is a person who collects, writes, photographs, processes, edits or comments on news or other topical information to the public. A journalist 's work is called journalism .

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) presents the 2016 Violations of press freedom barometer. March 15, 2018. Turki Al-Jasser. Freelance journalist , owner of a blog.

"We are optimistic about Khaled's provisional release. The lawyers will demand his release from prison and the postponement of the trial until September," Benlarbi told AFP.

Several Algerian and international human rights and press freedom NGOs have urged the Algerian authorities in recent months to release Khaled Drareni and end the "targeted harassment of independent media".

L'opposant Samir Belarbi (c), co-accusé de Khaled Drareni, le 3 août 2020 à Alger © RYAD KRAMDI The opponent Samir Belarbi (c), co-accused of Khaled Drareni, on August 3, 2020 in Algiers

RSF, who is leading an international campaign in his favor, called on Monday for his immediate release and all charges against him dropped.

"We must free Khaled Drareni, out of loyalty to the ideals of Algerian independence," wrote Pierre Audin, son of anti-colonial activist Marcel Audin, and RSF secretary general Christophe Deloire, in a column published Thursday by the daily Le Monde .

Algerian justice has increased the number of legal proceedings and convictions of "Hirak" activists, political opponents, journalists and bloggers.

Algeria is in 146th place (out of 180) in the 2020 world press freedom ranking established by RSF. It fell 27 places compared to 2015 (119th).

rk-fa-ad / amb-agr / tp

Tunisia: NGOs support an Algerian journalist sentenced to 3 years prison .
© RYAD KRAMDI Algerian journalist Khaled Drareni, now imprisoned, carried by demonstrators after being briefly detained by the security forces in Algiers on the 6th March 2020 Tunisian associations and organizations expressed their solidarity with Algerian journalist Khaled Drareni on Wednesday, sentenced by his country's justice system to three years in prison, and called for his “immediate” and “unconditional” release.

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