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Algeria condemned for ‘gagging journalists’

April 6, 2017 at 4:21 pm

Journalists can be seen taking photos [K.rol2007/Flickr]

Reporters without Borders has called out the Algerian Ministry of Communication’s “charter for ethical and fair coverage” of the forthcoming election campaign for censoring those who are boycotting the election.

In a statement, the NGO denounced the dissemination of “an unfair circular addressed to the audio-visual media executives” in which the charter prohibits the media from “giving voice to persons calling for a boycott” (Article 2); “forbidden during the presidential campaign to carry out survey asking random people in the streets” (Article 7); and “to disseminate political debates and declarations likely to undermine public security and the State and/or which may give rise to slippage contrary to journalistic and political ethics” (Article 10).

This process is, according to the same source, contrary to the freedom of the press.

Publishing a restrictive charter for press freedom without consulting the media or civil society is aberrant and clearly demonstrates that the Algerian government, in the name of a so-called ethic, is actually trying to gag journalists

Virginie Dangles, editor-in-chief of RSF, explained.

RSF has called on the authorities to respect its commitments going forward, recalling the provisions of the 2016 Constitution which guarantees freedom of press and information and the content of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights ratified by Algeria.