Le Soir paints a bleak picture of press freedom in Algeria in 2022

The Belgian newspaper Le Soir painted a bleak picture of the press freedom situation in Algeria in 2022. A difficult year for free media in Algeria, which ended with a sudden fall of the curtain for press freedom, he writes.

The daily returns in particular to “the spectacular closure, on December 24, of the premises of one of the last media outlets still free, Radio M, and the arrest, the same day, of its director, Ihsane El-Kadi”. , which sign a dark end to the year for the freedom of the press.

Radio M, which is part, with the Maghreb Emergent site, of the Interface Médias agency, was indeed the only media to continue to give the floor to opponents, by defying increasingly heavy censorship, indicates the mass circulation newspaper.

And to add: “No official explanation has been provided, to date, concerning this decision, while the journalist was placed under arrest warrant on Thursday, December 29, after having spent four days in a barracks of the security services. security on the heights of the capital. Even the local press made no allusion to it, a sign that, in the Algiers newsrooms, reflexes of self-censorship are still in order”.

That said, we observe, the shock wave has spread widely on social networks where we wonder about the reasons for this relentlessness against the last square meadows of the independent press (…) and the brutality with which the setting in step of Radio M took place outraged even in the camp where we do not necessarily share its editorial line.

While in the pro-government media, we praise the will of the authorities to fight against “subversion”, everyone has understood that the decision-makers simply want to muzzle the free press, underlines Le Soir, explaining that this ban on Radio M comes after the closure – decided by its boss at the instigation of the authorities – of the daily Liberté, while El-Watan, another big title in the independent press, subject to strong fiscal pressures and whose assets are frozen by the authorities, fights desperate for its survival.

Interviewed by Le Soir, Lahouari Addi, an exiled sociologist and keen observer of the Algerian scene, believes that the arrest of Ihsane El-Kadi “indicates a state of panic among decision-makers who are afraid of a journalist”. The academic denounces the use of “illegal” forms, recalling the sealing of the offices of Radio M by individuals who are not part of any security body authorized to carry out this kind of search.

“It must be said that the freedom of the press was already, before this umpteenth blow, reduced to a trickle. The traditional press has, for a long time, yielded to a multitude of influencers who, today, make public opinion in Algeria”, notes the Belgian daily.

“This screed of lead on the free press comes at a time when dozens of newly approved sites are awaiting with apprehension the new provisions of the law on information. According to what was leaked, through journalists, the new legislation provides for a hardening, at all levels, of the profession of the press: an immediate withdrawal of approval and fines of up to 1 million dinars in the event of contravention “, Details the newspaper, noting that to this is added the blocking, since 2020, of a host of sites such as TSA, Le Matin d’Algérie, Algeriepart or Algeriepatriotique, of the former Minister of Defense , General Khaled Nezzar, who, however, supports the current policy of power.

And Le Soi concludes: “A surreal situation that should no longer surprise you in today’s Algeria”.

Previous Post Next Post