Another obstacle for free information in Algeria. “The Minister of Communication decided, this Saturday July 31, to withdraw the accreditation granted to the representation in Algiers of the television channel Arab news vision Al-Arabiya, ”said an official statement released this afternoon.
This withdrawal is motivated by “the non-respect by this chain of the rules of professional ethics and its recourse to distortion and manipulation”, specifies the ministry in this press release quoted by the official APS news agency, without further details.
Since June, Al-Arabiya has been the second foreign television channel deprived of accreditation after France 24. On June 13, the authorities Algerians had decided to withdraw accreditation to France 24 because of its “manifest and repeated hostility”, after having warned the news channel in March for its coverage of “Hirak”, the popular movement protesting the regime.
Paris had “regretted” this decision, which was strongly criticized by two journalists’ organizations (the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the NGO for the defense of freedom. Reporters Without Borders (RSF)) seeing it as a very serious attack on press freedom.
For years, foreign media working in Algeria have been subject to a bureaucratic, opaque and random accreditation procedure. And working conditions are difficult for Algerian journalists, against the backdrop of repression of Hirak by the authorities. Born in February 2019 from the popular rejection of a fifth presidential term of Abdelaziz Bouteflika, the Hirak (a peaceful movement without real leadership) calls for a radical change of the governance system in place since independence.
Algeria is in 146th place (out of 180) in the 2021 world press freedom ranking established by RSF, unchanged compared to 2020. But the country has lost 27 places since 2015 .