On Thursday, media watchdog Reporters without Borders (RSF), journalists, and rights groups called for Algerian authorities to liberate the arrested journalist Khaled Drareni.
Indeed, the president of the Casbah Tribune website and correspondent for RSF and French-language television channel TV5Monde, Drareni has become a symbol of the battle for the freedom of the press in the North African country. Unfortunately, he was detained in March when he is covering an anti-government protest and accused of inciting an unarmed gathering and undermining the territorial integrity of the nation, and his process is expected to start on August 3. While, RSF reported that he could face 10 years in prison.
RSF secretary-general Christophe Deloire and Pierre Audin, the son of anti-colonial activist Maurice Audin, wrote in an opinion article published in French daily Le Monde: Khaled Drareni must be released, out of loyalty to the ideals of Algerian independence. Pierre Audin is also a part of an international support committee for Drareni that its creation announced by RSF on Thursday. Moreover, this committee contains Algerian and foreign journalists, and groups such as Human Rights Watch.
Deloire and Audin ssaid: Algerian independence… for which the Algerian people fought hard, aimed to liberate the country from colonial domination based in particular on the control of information. Remaining faithful to the fight for emancipation clearly presupposes respecting freedom of expression, in particular freedom of the press.
In recent months in the North African country, the arrests of journalists have increased, while the last one were a correspondent and a cameraman who have worked with France 24 and were liberated on Wednesday after being detained a day earlier. It’s noted that Algeria is in the position 146th on RSF’s 180-country World Press Freedom Index.