Journalist questioned over article about the armed forces

first_imgAccording to information obtained by RSF, journalist Salima Tlemçani, of the French language daily El Watan, was taken in for questioning by the criminal investigation department on January 28, 2002, after a complaint was lodged for “defamation” by the Ministry of Defense. This hearing follows the publication of an article on December 11, 2001 concerning nominations to the Department of Intelligence and Security (DRS, previously the military security service). “This backs up my idea that somehow my investigations have uncovered things much more serious than information about the people mentioned in the December 11 article”, the journalist declared to AFP. Algeria : Reporter jailed after covering Tuareg protests in southern Algeria AlgeriaMiddle East – North Africa May 12, 2021 Find out more Algeria pressures reporters by delaying renewal of accreditation In a letter addressed to the Minister of the Interior, Yazid Zerhouni, Reporters Sans Frontières (Reporters Without Borders – RSF) expressed concern over the questioning of Salima Tlemçani, journalist for the daily newspaper El Watan, by the criminal investigation department in relation to an article written about the army. “It is the second time in a week that a journalist has been questioned by the police. We fear this may be the start of a long series of trials, with the general elections just a few months away”, stated Robert Ménard, Secretary-General of the organization. RSF_en News April 29, 2021 Find out more Follow the news on Algeria News to go further News Harassment of Algerian reporters intensifies in run-up to parliamentary elections News Earlier, on January 25, caricaturist Ali Dilem was questioned by the criminal investigation department concerning a satirical drawing criticizing the armed forces, published in the French language daily Liberté. Dilem was heard after the Minister for Defense lodged a complaint with the public prosecutor of the court of Algiers for the drawing, published on November 29, 2001. The drawing was judged to be “defamatory and contemptuous of high-ranking officers of the military”. According to Ali Dilem’s lawyer, Me Khaled Bourayou, “the aim is obviously to intimidate Dilem, to harass him”. “I’m convinced I am on the right track, as I say what 30 million Algerians are thinking. If they want to stop me, they’ll have to put 30 million people in prison”, Dilem said in a statement to Reuters. Receive email alerts AlgeriaMiddle East – North Africa May 18, 2021 Find out more January 29, 2002 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Journalist questioned over article about the armed forces Organisation In May 2001, the Algerian parliament modified the penal code, introducing harsher sentences and fines for defamation in the press. Reporters Sans Frontières, which condemned these amendments at the time, considered that the text could only serve to increase self-censorship within Algerian editorial teams. A few months earlier, Mohammed Lamari, the Chief of Staff of the armed forces had stated: “You have seen and you will continue to observe, through scandalous writings, caricatures, and other things, outrages and nonsense concerning your armed forces. Our obligation of discretion cannot prevent us from expressing our regret at the contemptible use made of the freedoms so dearly acquired by our people.” Help by sharing this information last_img