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Algeria prosecutes and imprisons ‘fake news promoters’

Workers dressed in protective gear rest while on duty disinfecting a street during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic in Algiers, Algeria on 9 April 2020 [RYAD KRAMDI/AFP/Getty Images]
Workers dressed in protective gear rest while on duty disinfecting a street during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic in Algiers, Algeria on 9 April 2020 [RYAD KRAMDI/AFP/Getty Images]

Algerian authorities have launched a campaign against what they described as “fake news promoters” on social media, which increased since the outbreak of the coronavirus in the country.

On 15 April, the Ministry of the Interior announced in a statement that it had arrested someone for forging the constitution, which is under review, and circulating it on social media.

The statement indicated that the arrest took place in Chlef governorate, west of the capital, and the person concerned will be brought before the public prosecutor.

The same statement included news of the arrest of another person in Tiaret who allegedly publishing a forged statement attributed to the Minister of the Interior related to the allocation of financial grants to civil defence personnel.

READ: Algeria prisoners make face masks to tackle coronavirus

The Ministry of Interior stressed that “promoting rumours and fake news in order to spread confusion and violate public order will be subject to strict response in accordance with the mechanisms established by the law.”

A few days ago, the Algerian presidency published a statement, saying that “what had been circulated through social platforms as a draft of the constitution is incorrect and the copy is fraudulent.”

In a speech broadcasted on state television, Algerian President Abdelmajid Tebboune vowed in mid-March to search for and reveal the identity of false and misleading news publishers who “work to sow confusion and keep citizens in a state of anxiety and terror.”

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AfricaAlgeriaCoronavirusNews
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