Journalist Mustapha Bendjama, new victim of the regime

Algerian journalist Mustapha Bendjama, editor of the regional daily Le Provincial, was arrested in Annaba on Wednesday. The umpteenth victim of the predatory Algerian regime, the journalist was arrested without the reason for his imprisonment being revealed. The repression of journalists by the Algerian government is more than worrying.

According to the daily for which he works, which confirmed the information, the journalist was arrested this Wednesday around 2:50 p.m. at his place of work, at the headquarters of the Provincial in Annaba, by elements of the research section of the national gendarmerie who also seized his computer and cell phone.

“No reason was given by the team in charge of the arrest,” adds the Provincial. Algeria has been waging a fierce fight against journalists since 2019 with the accession to power of Abdelmadjid Tebboune against the opinion of the people who twice boycotted the elections.

Censorship, blocking of sites as suffered by Maghreb Emergent, Radio M, TSA, El Watan, and political pressure exerted on the family of Issad Rebrab, until closure for his newspaper Liberté Algérie, and dismissals are some of the techniques used .

The journalists of the electronic sites Radio M and Maghreb Emergent denounced Monday January 23 in a press release the blocking of these two sites, inaccessible in Algeria on various Internet providers.

“This persistence confirms our apprehension: it seems that it is indeed a question of censorship”, declared the journalists of Maghreb Emergent and Radio M in a press release.

Ihsane El Kadi, founder and director of the two websites, was arrested on the night of December 23 to 24 by the Algerian authorities who accused him of “receiving funds for propaganda from a foreign source, publication to the general public content likely to harm the national interest”.

“Accused of trumped-up offenses related to state security, Ihsane El Kadi must be released immediately and the two media outlets he heads, which were sealed on December 24, must be allowed to reopen,” said writes the NGO Amnesty International.

“The lawsuits brought against Ihsane El Kadi follow other cases of harassment, intimidation and illegal imprisonment of journalists in Algeria and outside the country, including attempted kidnappings such as that suffered by Anouar Malek in Turkey.

In the past two years, at least 11 journalists have been arrested, summoned or found guilty,” continues the same source.

In mid-January, around fifteen media directors and editors from 14 countries and the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Dmitri Mouratov, brought together on Tuesday by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), called for the release of the Algerian journalist, Ihsane El Kadi. and called on media bosses around the world to help “stop and roll back this wave of repression that is sweeping the press in Algeria”.

Several journalists have been sent to prison for a simple article like that of Liberté Algérie on demonstrations in the Algerian Sahara, a territory which it seems that we should not talk about.

Unprecedented fact, the journalist Abdou Semmar, exfiltrated in France to avoid certain condemnation, is currently condemned to the death penalty in his country for having revealed the failings of certain senior Algerian leaders.

Critics of the current government, journalist Hichem Abboud and blogger Amir Boukhors known as Amir DZ are accused of belonging to the Rachad Movement (classified by Abdelmadjid Tebboune as a terrorist organization) and were sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment and the subject of international arrest warrants issued by the Algerian authorities.

Latest fact, the case of the criticism of the opponent and columnist at Radio M, Amira Bouraoui, exfiltrated from Tunis with the help of the French Embassy, ​​caused this week the beginning of a diplomatic crisis between Algeria and France. In Tunisia, the country where the exfiltration took place, the influence of Algiers led Tunisian President Kais Saied to dismiss his Minister of Foreign Affairs.

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