On Thursday, multiple human rights NGOs called on the Algerian authorities to stop the “harassment of independent media” and to set free the journalist Khaled Drareni, who has been in custody since the end of March.
In a statement, Amnesty International’s Director for the Middle East and North Africa, Heba Morayef, called on the Algerian authorities to “immediately and unconditionally release Khaled Drareni and put an end to these outrageous charges”.
According to AI, Khaled Drareni, who is currently placed in pre-trial detention in Kolea prison, “is being punished simply because he dared to do his journalistic work in an independent and courageous manner”.
The journalist’s lawyers said he “offers every possible guarantee to appear on the day of his trial” and that his detention is all the more “arbitrary” because he was working as a reporter at the time of his arrest.
He is the founder and director of the online news website Casbah Tribune, a correspondent for the French TV station TV5 Monde and the representative of Reporters Without Borders (RSF) in Algeria. Drareni is accused of “inciting an unarmed gathering and undermining the territorial integrity of the country” after covering a demonstration in Algiers by “Hirak”, the popular anti-regime movement that has been disturbing Algeria for over a year.