Algeria whistle-blower jailed for a year

Algeria whistle-blower jailed for a year
2 min read
Algerian journalist and whistle-blower Noureddine Tounsi was sentenced to a year in prison after being detained since September.
An Algerian journalist and whilstleblower was sentenced to a year [Getty]

Algerian journalist and whistle-blower Noureddine Tounsi was sentenced Wednesday to a year in prison, one of his lawyers said.

Detained since September, Tounsi had reported on social media on alleged wrongdoings at the port of Oran, in the country's northwest.

Tounsi "was sentenced to a year behind bars by the court" in Oran, Farid Khemisti wrote on Facebook.

Charges against him included with "insulting the president of the republic" and "invasion of privacy", local media reported, without specifying the allegations that led to the charges.

Since the start of the country's pro-democracy Hirak protest movement in February 2019, several Algerian journalists have been tried or jailed as authorities have cracked down on dissent.

On Monday, Rabah Kareche, a correspondent for French-language newspaper Liberte in Tamanrasset, in Algeria's far south, was placed in provisional detention for allegedly spreading false information "harmful to public security".

His detention came after he published an article on a Tuareg protest movement in the area.

Liberte slammed what it called "false accusations that thinly veil the desire to silence the journalist and prevent him from carrying out his work objectively".

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists urged the Algerian authorities to free Kareche and drop their investigation.

"Algerian authorities should not imprison journalists for reporting on minority communities," said Justin Shilad, senior researcher for the CPJ for the region.

According to Algerian Detainees, a journalist-run website, 66 prisoners of conscience are currently incarcerated in the country, some in connection with the Hirak movement.

Reporters Without Borders ranked Algeria 146 out of 180 countries and territories in its 2021 World Press Freedom Index.

Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram to stay connected