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Algeria journalist sentenced to 6 months in jail

Algerian journalist Ihsane El Kadi, director of M Radio [@saidsalhi527/Twitter]
Algerian journalist Ihsane El Kadi, director of M Radio [@saidsalhi527/Twitter]

An Algerian court yesterday sentenced journalist Ihsane El Kadi, director of M Radio, for six months after he published an article on the right to participate in the Hirak movement.

Though he was sentenced, the judge did not have him detained. "I was sentenced to six months in prison without being detained due to an analytical article, a complaint from the [former] Minister of Communication Ammar Belhimer, and on charges in which he has not the legal capacity as a plaintiff," El Kadi said, adding that he will be free to continue his appeal and challenge the procedures.

The case relates to a complaint filed by the Ministry of Communications against El Kadi after he published an article in March 2021 on the website of M Radio, which broadcasts via the Internet, in which he defended the "right of the Rachad movement to participate in the popular Hirak movement" to demand democracy.

READ: Over 1,000 people on death row by end of 2021 in Algeria

The Rachad movement is an Islamist organisation operating from outside Algeria, it was classified as a terrorist organisation by authorities in May 2021.

El Kadi was arrested and investigated. The judge ordered that he be placed under judicial supervision and prevented him from travel.

On 17 May he was charged with "spreading false news that may harm national unity" and "causing confusion in elections". The prosecution had requested that he be jailed for three years and banned from work for five.

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