Algeria Hirak: Many journalists arrested, including AFP photographer

#Algeria : Police arrested dozens of people, including journalists, including an AFP photographer detained for eight hours during a March effort by Hirac’s pro-democracy movement in Algiers on Friday.

Photographer Riyad Kramdi of AFP’s office in Algiers was released in the evening after being detained for eight hours in a police station in the popular district of Hirak and the stronghold Bab el Oued.

Seen by the police in plain clothes, he was arrested when he intended to cover the traditional diamond march in this popular district after the prayers of Jumé.

He was taken alone, in a van, to a police station, where he found himself with Bab el Oued’s youth, lawyers, doctors or students.

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“We waited until 5:00 pm before being transferred to the Judicial Police Division at the Algiers-center. Around 7:00 pm, they took us to a forensic doctor to check on our situation. Everything is fine ,” They said. – It bears witness.

He was released in the evening without any explanation. “We were treated well but it was very stressful,” he said.

According to the websites, at least a dozen other journalists and photographers have been arrested, including French-language channel TV5’s correspondent Khalid Draneni in Algeria, Radio M’s journalist Kenja Khatto, and a videographer from the International Reuters Agency. .

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) tweeted, “Many journalists were arrested and prevented from covering the 117th Diamond Friday demonstration, while others were molested by police.”

Mr. Draneni was still in custody at the end of the evening.

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The director of the news site Kasba Tribune and correspondent in Algeria for the RSF, has become a symbol of the freedom struggle of the press after being jailed for almost a year.

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According to the National Committee for the Liberation of Detainees (CNLD), some journalists were released in the late afternoon, an institution that helps inmates of conscience.

Algeria ranks 146th (out of 180) in the 2020 World Press Freedom Rankings established by the RSF, down 27 places compared to 2015.

The CNLD also reported a number of arrests in the country, including Hirak figures, lawyers and adversaries, such as the President of the Council for La Culture et la Democrati (RCD), Mohsin Belabas, and former detainees and activists of Hirak Dalila Taut.

According to the CNLD, over 70 people are currently imprisoned, prosecuted for acts related to hirak and / or personal liberty.

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