Most Read

  • We Will Rock You tour of SA postpones to 2022
    Showtime Management and international partner Selladoor Worldwide have postponed the South African tour of the We Will Rock You musical to 2022. South Africa is currently in its third wave of Covid-19 infections and, as such, the government has implemented precautions that only allows for a total audience of 100 people.
  • #YouthMatters: Leigh-Anne Salonika, founder of OnlyKind
    From East London to some of South Africa's most storied agencies. After winning on global stages and achieving what she set out to on the inside of the corporate advertising machinery, Leigh-Anne Salonika is living her purpose, and in doing so working with brands to unlock theirs By Evan-Lee Courie
  • 6 critical PoPIA compliance steps to take before 1 July
    The eleventh hour is upon businesses who are not Protection of Personal Information Act (PoPIA) compliant. The effective date of 1 July is upon us. By Rian Schoeman
Show more

Marketing & Media jobs

More...Submit a jobOpen account

Africa

More...Submit news
Advertise on Bizcommunity

Subscribe to industry newsletters

Algerian authorities arrest freelance journalist

Algerian authorities should immediately release journalist Sofiane Merakchi and drop any charges against him, the Committee to Protect Journalists said.
Police officers are seen at El Harrach prison in Algiers, Algeria, on June 13, 2019. Freelance journalist Sofiane Merakchi was recently sent to the prison for pre-trial detention. Credit: CPJ/Reuters/Ramzi Boudina.
On September 22, police arrested Merakchi, a freelance correspondent for the Beirut-based TV channel Al Mayadeen and other foreign news agencies, at his personal office in Algiers, according to news reports.

Yesterday, the Bir Mourad Rais First Instance Court in Algiers charged Merakchi with working for foreign news outlets without a license and evading customs authorities while importing broadcasting equipment, according to news reports. The court ordered Merakchi to be sent to El Harrach prison, in a suburb of Algiers, for pre-trial detention, according to reports.

If found guilty, Merakchi could face two to seven years in prison for the customs evasion charge, plus a fine in relation to the value of the equipment, according to Algeria’s penal code. CPJ could not determine the potential penalty if Merakchi were found guilty on the charge of working with foreign outlets without a license.

Merakchi’s lawyer, Fatma Al-Zahraa Ben Berham, told news website TSA Algeria that the journalist will appeal the charges and the pre-trial detention.

“Sofiane Merakchi’s arrest and the charges against him show that Algerian authorities will stop at nothing to keep a lid on coverage of events taking place in the country,” said CPJ Middle East and North Africa Program Coordinator Sherif Mansour. “Authorities must immediately release Merakchi and allow journalists in the country to report freely.”

Merakchi recently covered protests in Algiers calling for new presidential elections. President Abdelaziz Bouteflika resigned in April, after protests dissuaded him from seeking a fifth term in office, according to news reports.

Since February, Algerian authorities have censored reportingexpelled foreign journalists covering the protests, blocked websites, and suspended journalists over their coverage of the protests, according to CPJ reporting.

Algeria's Ministry of Justice did not immediately respond to CPJ's emailed request for comment.
Comment

Related

News

Let's do Biz