Welcome to Africanews

Please select your experience

Watch Live



3-Year Prison Sentence for Algerian Journalist

Khaled Dareni is a symbol of free speech for the press in Algeria   -  
Copyright © africanews
RYAD KRAMDI/AFP or licensors


Free Speech in the Algerian Press

Freelance journalist and a symbol of free speech in Algeria, Khaled Dareni, has been sentenced to three years in prison based on accusations of undermining the integrity of the national territory.

Khaled Drareni sentenced to 3 years in prison by the telephone court. -He sold cocaine? No -He stole money? No -Did he kill someone? No Khaled just did his job as a journalist without ever yielding to Mafia intimidation! #KhaledDrareni #Algeria #

Three years behind bars for, Khaled Dareni, an Algerian freelance journalist and local correspondent for French media channels TV5 Monde and Reporters Without Borders (RWB). He has been condemned for "inciting an unarmed gathering" and "undermining the integrity of the national territory" after his media coverage of the Hirak movement on March 7th.

His sentencing only reinforces his image amongst the Algerian public as Dareni, 40 years old age, has become a symbol for the fight for freedom of speech in the press in the country.

"This is a very heavy verdict for Khaled Drareni. Three years in prison. We are surprised. The file is empty," said the lawyer, who is also president of the Algerian League for Human Rights (LADH).

Time in Jail and a Heavy Fine

At the start of August, the Algerian prosecutor's office had asked for four years in prison for Drareni and his two co-defendants - two Hirak figures, Samir Benlarbi and Slimane Hamitouche. The prosecutor of the Sidi M'hamed court had also demanded a heavy fine against the three defendants, as well as the deprivation of their civil rights.

the message is clear: no independence for journalism in a country of dictators where the mafias and the corrupt reign ... a government and a justice of traitors who betray the people, their memory and their values every day. #KhaledDrareni

This conviction is "clearly a case of judicial persecution," RWB's Secretary-General Christophe Deloire was castigated.

View more