The French Embassy reacts to the cancellation of Ferhat Mehenni’s appearance on Cnews

In recent days, the cancellation of a television appearance by the leader of the Movement for Self-Determination of Kabylia, Ferhat Mehenni, on the conservative channel Cnews has sparked a wave of criticism in Morocco. The deprogramming of the program where he was supposed to appear was attributed to an intervention of the Elysee under pressure from the Algerian authorities. 

In Morocco, many saw this sequence as a scandal that undermines the image of France as a home of democracy and press freedom. Faced with the wave of criticism on social networks, the French Embassy in Morocco deemed it necessary to react via a very short statement, released on Wednesday. The Embassy denied any intervention by the French authorities for the cancellation of the program in question. “The Embassy of France has taken note of press statements and comments in the press suggesting that the French authorities have intervened with a French television channel so that it does not let one of the guests of a news program express himself. It formally denies these allegations,” reads the statement, which insists on France’s commitment to freedom of expression and freedom of the press “everywhere in the world.  

Indeed, Mehenni was the guest of the French journalist Ivan Rioufol who announced for more than a week that he would receive him in his show to talk about the fate of the Kabyle community in Algeria. 

When he came to the set of Cnews, the leader of the MAK was surprised to learn from the journalist Ivan Rioufol his passage was cancelled. The sequence was recorded in a video that has made the rounds of social networks where the French journalist showed himself interlocked and amazed at this sudden change. “I myself do not understand anything, the management is aware for more than a week,” he told his guest who said he was convinced that his passage was canceled under pressure from the Elysee, which would have, according to him, succumbed to pressure from Algiers.   

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