Censorship in Algeria

Censorship in Algeria

The working conditions of journalists in Algeria have evolved since the 1962 independence. After 1990, the Code of Press was suppressed, allowing for greater freedom of press. However, with the civil war in the 1990s, more than 70 journalists were assassinated, either by security forces or by Islamists. Sixty journalists were killed between 1993 and 1998 in Algeria. [ [http://www.crisisgroup.org/home/index.cfm?id=1543&l=2 Entre menace, censure et liberté: La presse privé algérienne se bat pour survivre] , March 31, 1998 ]


Recently, President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has ordered several newspapers closures, imprisoned journalists such as Mohammad Benchicou, director of "Le Matin" and author of a critical biography of Bouteflika, and forced others reporters to exile, mostly in France.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF in French)'s index for freedom of press gives approximatively 40 for Algeria since five years (although the figure has increased, signifying a lesser freedom of press). Along with "L'Humanité" newspaper, RWF did denounce the imprisonment of Mohammad Benchicou, director of "Le Matin", who was sentenced to two years of prison for denouncing corruption in Algeria. Benchicou was awarded in 2006 the PEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write Award.

Algeria has seen in recent years many attacks on freedom of press, apart of Mohammad Benchicou's imprisonment. "La Tribune" newspaper was closed in 1996 [ [http://www.humanite.presse.fr/journal/1996-07-05/1996-07-05-755810 Algérie : censure contre la presse] , "L'Humanité", 5 July 1996 fr icon (see also [http://www.humaniteinenglish.com humaniteinenglish] ) ] . Sam blog was censored in March 2006 [ [http://www.rezki.net/Alger-censure-aussi-les-blogs.html Alger censure aussi les blogs] , Rezki.net, 13 March 2006 ] . "El Watan" also suffered from attacks from the Algerian state in 1998 [ [http://www.humanite.presse.fr/journal/1998-11-06/1998-11-06-427872 Mobilisation contre la censure de la presse] , "L'Humanité", 6 November 1998 fr icon ] . Its reporters have, according to RSF and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) been targeted by both government forces and Islamist insurgents [ [http://www.rsf.org/print.php3?id_article=6686 Algeria - 2003 Annual report] , "Reporters Without Borders" (RSF) en icon ] [ [http://www.rsf.org/print.php3?id_article=3086 Reporter for El Watan attacked and kidnapped] , RSF, 23 July 2002 en icon ] . Journalists from "Liberté" and from "Le Matin" were forced to exile themselves to France [ [http://www.maisondesjournalistes.org/renvoye_valence_djamel.php Rencontre avec un journaliste algérien, Monsieur Djmaledine Benchenouf de "Liberté"] ] .

February 2007 symposium on disappearances

The authorities blocked on February 7, 2007 a symposium titled "Pour la Vérité, la Paix et la Conciliation" (For Truth, Peace and Conciliation) organised by the CFDA ("Collectif des familles de disparus en Algérie", Collective of the Families of Disappeared People in Algeria), SOS Disparus, Djazairouna, the ANFD (Association nationale des familles de disparus) and Somoud. This new form of censorship on a conference concerning the "disappearances" which occurred during the civil war in the 1990s has been criticized by the ACAT-France ("Action des Chrétiens pour l'abolition de la torture"), the International Federation of Human Rights (IFHR), and the World Organization Against Torture (WOAT). Furthermore, critics of the controversial Charter for Peace and National Reconciliation, adopted on September 29, 2006, have been targeted by the authorities, who use various methods of intimidation, including courtsuits, on lawyers and human rights defenders. [ [http://www.hns-info.net/article.php3?id_article=10414 Algérie : Interdiction d’un séminaire international sur les disparitions forcées] , International Federation of Human Rights public statement, published by "Hacktivist News Service (HNS), February 7, 2007 fr icon ]

See also

*History of Algeria
*Politics of Algeria
*Freedom of press
*Human rights in Algeria


External links

* [http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/1445/ Censorship in Algeria] - International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX)
* [http://www.bannedmagazine.com/ Banned Magazine, the online journal of censorship and secrecy]

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