Court in Algeria Sentences Leading Journalist to Five Years in Prison

Mon Apr 03 2023
icon-facebook icon-twitter icon-whatsapp

ALGIERS: A court in Algiers on Sunday sentenced a leading journalist in the country to 5 years in prison with 2 years suspended. It also ordered his website and a radio station to be shut down. The orders were made on the basis of the allegation that they endanger state security.

In December 2022, Ihsane El-Kadi was detained at his home in the capital city, Algiers. Ihsane was accused of getting foreign funds for his media outlets. Since his arrest, he has remained in custody and had appeared in court on Sunday for the verdict. The hearing was attendedby his legal defence team along with family members and journalists.

Court dissolves media company that owns the outlets

The court also ordered Ihsane to pay a penalty of $5,200. As per the verdict, the media company which owns El-Kadi’s outlets was ordered dissolved, its assets seized, and a penalty of $7,390 was slapped on its owners.

Ihsane had been active in the country’s Hirak protest movement in 2019, seems to be the latest target of a crackdown on dissenting figures in the country. The movement was calling for democracy.

Numerous users considered his media outlets as outposts of free debate in Algerian media, which aided opposition politicians and journalists in providing a platform to point out contradictions in the government’s policies.

The case against Ihsane is linked to the crowdfunding used to fund Maghreb Emergent and Webradio. The 2 operated in Algeria for many years but did not have official recognition as media outfits.

Ihsane was accused of violating a criminal code article targeting anyone who receives funds that is aimed at “inciting acts susceptible to threaten state security,” stability or Algeria’s fundamental interests, his lawyers said prior to the verdict.

icon-facebook icon-twitter icon-whatsapp