Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Algeria: Algerian authorities detain four journalists during protest


Four Echorouk TV journalists were detained on 1 March 2014 by Algerian authorities during their coverage of a protest denouncing the possibility of a fourth term for President Abdelaziz Bouteflika. Presidential elections are scheduled to be held on 17 April.

The Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) condemned their arrest and the beating of a fifth journalist.

The journalists were arrested during the police force's dispersal of the demonstration attended by dozens of Algerians.

The Echorouk TV journalists detained were AbdelNour Boukhamkham, Rachedi Radwan, Zainab bin Zaid, and Joseph Baalog. Journalist Gahida Ramdani was beaten along with tens of citizens who were attacked during the protest in clear violation of the right to peacefully protest and express opinion.

The journalists' detention is a clear infringement of the right to free expression, said ANHRI. It reveals the arbitrary procedures followed by Algerian authorities when dealing with journalists, activists, and opinion makers.

ANHRI calls upon the Algerian authorities to halt the prosecution of journalists, to abandon the gagging policy, and to respect the right to peaceful protest and freedom of expression.