Algeria withdraws recognition of “France 24” and continues to damage freedom of expression (146°/180)

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Algerian government spokesman Ammar Belheimer confirmed that Algeria has decided to withdraw its recognition to the international French channel France 24, motivated by “professional ethics, non-respect for the rules of propaganda and manipulation, as well as a proven aggression”. The decision is on the side of Algeria.”

The decision comes a day after early legislative elections, avoiding high rates. The news fell through a dispatch from the Algerian National Press Agency (APS) at the end of the day on Sunday, which recalls that last March, the Ministry of Communications warned the television channel for coverage of the Hirak movement. “On 13 March, a final warning before the final withdrawal of its recognition” was sent to FRANCE 24, questioning the “coverage of the Friday March” of the demonstrations of Hirak, a popular movement opposing the regime. was the reference.

The news channel, which again covered the legislative elections from Algiers live last Saturday, reacted in the evening, saying it was “shocked not to receive an explanation” when the accreditation of its correspondents was withdrawn.

“Our coverage of Algerian news is carried out in transparency, independence and honesty,” France 24 said in a message read on the air. Asked by AFP, the French foreign ministry declined to comment.

On 13 March, FRANCE 24 had already given an assurance to “do its job as honestly as possible”. “We only do our job as journalists in accordance with applicable rules,” France 24 director Marc Sackley told AFP.

In July 2020, France 24 correspondent Moncef et Kasi and cameraman Ramdan Rahmouni were placed in preventive custody before being released 24 hours later. Moncef et Casi is based in Algiers and covers the legislative elections for the French service of France 24.

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Over the years, the foreign media operating in Algeria has been subject to a bureaucratic, opaque and haphazard accreditation process. Philippe Egret, the Agence France-Presse (AFP) director for Algeria, who was appointed in October 2019, has never received recognition from the authorities. No reason was given in this regard.

Against the background of the repression of Diamond by the authorities, the working conditions for Algerian journalists are difficult.

Born out of the rejection of Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s fifth term in February 2019, President with aphasia, the movement continued despite the ouster of former President Bouteflika and his clan, then the election of a new head of state, Abdelmadjid Tebboune.

Algeria is ranked 146th (out of 180) in the 2020 World Press Freedom Rankings established by the RSF. It has lost 27 places in five years.

Hirak calls for the dismantling of the system of governance that has existed since independence in 1962. Officials say that the main demands of the movement have been met.

After abstaining from a presidential election in late 2019 and a constitutional referendum in late 2020, the Algerian population turned away from re-election during legislative elections held last Saturday in an effort to bolster the legitimacy of the government. According to official figures, the abstinence rate was around 70%.

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