Tag Archives: algerian media

A new law in Algeria to muzzle the media

A new law in Algeria to muzzle the media: A draft law on information in Algeria strengthening the supervision of the work of journalists and introducing new penalties for violations was examined Monday by the upper house of parliament for adoption.

A new law in Algeria to muzzle the media

Already approved by the lower house of Parliament on March 28, this draft organic law, which includes 55 articles, should be submitted Thursday to the vote of the Council of the Nation, which acts as the Senate.

Among the main provisions of the text is a ban on Algerian media from receiving any “funding” or “direct and indirect material assistance from any foreign party” under penalty of “criminal sanctions provided by law. A fine of up to 14,000 euros is also provided.

While the text stipulates that “professional secrecy is a right for journalists in accordance with the legislation and regulations in force”, it specifies that journalists are obliged to reveal their sources to the courts if they so require.

In addition, the new law excludes de facto binationals from the right to own or be shareholders in a media in Algeria.

This article has been debated among senators, some highlighting the paradox between the fact that dual nationals are courted for elections or investment in Algeria but prevented from accessing the capital of the media.

Several senators have also deplored the lack of enforcement texts to accompany this bill.

The devil is in the details

The president of the Senate, Salah Goudjil, has himself noted, in French, that “the devil is in the details”, referring to the absence of implementing legislation.

The bill reiterates the existing obligation for journalists to obtain an “accreditation” to work in Algeria for foreign media, with a fine of up to one million dinars (nearly 7,000 euros) for “any person carrying out the activity in Algeria on behalf of a foreign media without accreditation.

Once approved, the bill will be the first text regulating the work of the media to be adopted under the reign of President Abdelmadjid Tebboune since he came to power in late 2019.

Algeria is ranked 134th out of 180 countries in the Reporters Without Borders (RSF) World Press Freedom Index for 2022.

On April 2, Algerian newspaper owner Ihsane El Kadi, who was prosecuted for “foreign financing” of his company, was sentenced to five years in prison, three of which were firm.

Algeria: A nightmare named MAK

Thursday, March 30, at the end of the day, the Authority of regulation of the audiovisual in Algeria (ARAV) pond a communiqué of the most absurd. Is denounced a sequence of the most banal appeared in a scene of a television series broadcast by the public channel of television. Of a nothing at all the gendarme of the Algerian audio-visual made a scandal. Algeria: A nightmare named MAK.

Algeria: A nightmare named MAK

The scandal has splashed the whole political-military power which does not cease multiplying the blunders and the drifts as well inside the country as abroad. The scene implicated by the ARAV is located at a passage where the market of the popular district of Bab-El-Oued in Algiers was being filmed. On one of the walls appears a badly erased graffiti. “MAK” read the gendarme of the Algerian audiovisual. A graffiti to which nobody paid attention. Not even the leaders of the MAK (Movement for the Autodetermination of Kabylia) nor its militants. Moreover, it took a week for the ARAV to notice it.

A phone call from a military officer is the cause of the scandal

Obviously, there is reason to wonder how the ARAV waited for the broadcasting of seven episodes, that is to say after a week, for it to wake up on a graffiti that nobody has seen.

To find an answer to this question we asked our sources close to the building of 21, Boulevard des Martyrs in Algiers, headquarters of the National Television Company (ENTV) to identify the origin of this battle wobble that shook the landscape of the Algerian audiovisual and gave cold sweat to its Director General, Nadir Boukabes. Recently appointed to this position to replace Chabane Lounakel dismissed last December for a reason of the most sordid.

The name of Morocco was pronounced to announce the qualification of its national soccer team for the semi-finals of the World Cup in Qatar, it is unforgivable. In less than 24 hours the boss of the public television is dismissed as a mess after long years spent in the service of the regime under Bouteflika and then under Tebboune. Until this stage of the competition, the Algerian media were content to announce the elimination, in turn, of Belgium, Portugal and Spain without naming their opponent. Incredible but true. This happens in the “new Algeria” of the tandem Tebboune-Chengriha.

This time, the appearance of a graffiti on a wall that serves as a background to a scene filmed in a market almost cost his successor his job. The MAK, three letters banished from the lexicon of the Algerian media if not preceded by the famous sentence imposed by the military “the terrorist organization”.

How and by whom did the scandal come about?

Our sources assure us that a phone call from an army officer startled Mohamed Louber, the president of ARAV, on the afternoon of Thursday, March 30. As soon as he was told, “Didn’t you see the MAK, this terrorist organization, on full display on public television?”, he almost fell into a faint. He only came to his senses when he realized that it was only graffiti on a wall and that it appeared in the television series “eddamma” (the checkers game).

He wasted no time in writing a statement that he sent to the official press agency (Algeria Press Service) before calling the poor Director General of ENTV and giving him a dressing down.

The level of some Algerian decision-makers

This reaction of the ARAV dictated by a general who was, certainly, actuated by a laudatory stooge, is revealing of the level of some Algerian decision-makers. Decision-makers to whom the old adage applies that says “when you point the finger at the moon to the fool, he looks at the finger”. From a TV show that gives the viewer his sad daily life that sinks into trafficking of all kinds (psychotropic drugs, narcotics, gold etc..) to survive in a country immensely rich, we retain a graffiti badly erased.

This serious drift of the ARAV reveals, one cannot better the coldness of the Algerian political regime in front of the big questions which are posed, today, in Algeria. Among other issues, the claim of self-determination of Kabylia under the umbrella of the MAK in reaction to the state of abandonment from which this region suffers in terms of socio-economic development and to the repression that falls on its inhabitants and particularly its youth. Instead of negotiating and debating intelligently with this political movement whose leadership is composed essentially of intellectuals and academics known and recognized, the power of Algiers, rejected and hated by the whole of the Algerian people, prefers to make in the denial and the contempt. Worse still, it qualifies as terrorists this movement and its militants who have never used violence neither by acts nor by words.

Algeria: A nightmare named MAK

By refusing to see the reality in the face, the political-military power of Algiers lives a real nightmare which has for name MAK (Movement for the Self-determination of Kabylia). A movement that is gaining popularity in its own region, Kabylia. It is taken as an example by other regions that are becoming aware of their poor living conditions caused by a regime unable to provide the population with basic food products such as milk, semolina, oil and especially running water. The MAK does not cease, also, to make wipe the power of Algiers, of incessant reverses on the international political scene notably within the international organizations of the Human rights.

Recently, the UN Human Rights Council reminded Algeria that it is mistaken in its definition of terrorism by mentioning in its resolution “Algeria applies a definition (of terrorism) that corresponds to its context and its reality. And Ferhat Mehenni, the leader of the MAK added “a racist and anti-Kabyle reality. The inhumane treatment of Kabyle political prisoners is proof of this.