Arab Summit: Moroccan, Arab press unions decry Algerian authorities decision to refuse entry to Moroccan Journalists
The National Union of the Moroccan Press (SNPM), the National Press Council (SNPM) and the National Association of Media and Editors (ANME), as well as the General Union of Arab Journalists have all denounced the harassment and the expulsion by Algerian authorities of Moroccan journalists assigned to cover Arab Summit which opens this Tuesday in Algiers.
“The Algerian authorities continue their aggressions against the Moroccan press. This has become a tradition whenever Algeria is hosting an international, regional or continental event. This clearly shows its hostility to freedom of opinion and expression, the right of citizens and peoples of the region to information”, said the SNPM.
Upon their arrival at Houari Boumediene airport, “journalists working for the National Radio & Television were unfairly sequestered for more than six hours at the airport and interrogated by security agents before they were allowed to enter the Algerian territory as simple visitors not journalists after they were stripped of all their professional equipment”, added the Press Union.
For its part, the National Press Council (CNP) sent a letter to Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Secretary General of the Arab League, protesting the provocations suffered by the Moroccan press delegation that travelled to Algeria to cover the Arab Summit 2022.
The CNP asked the Arab League chief to urgently intervene to enable Moroccan journalists do their job. The Moroccan Press Council also sent a similar letter to the ambassadors of Arab countries in Morocco.
The National Association of Media and Editors (ANME) also slammed the provocations of Algerian authorities against Moroccan journalists. Although, they provided all their credentials and required documents to cover the summit, the Moroccan journalists were held for more than six hours at the airport and mistreated by the Algerian security services, said ANME in its press release.
It denounced the harassment suffered by the journalists of Al Aoula TV channel, who were denied entry and expelled after confiscating their equipment.
ANME called on Algerian press organizations to condemn these discriminatory acts targeting the Moroccan journalists and urged international press bodies to condemn such despicable restrictions and reprehensive measures undermining press freedom.
The General Union of Arab Journalists also condemned the Algerian authorities’ treatment of Moroccan journalists, insisting that respect for journalists is “indispensable”.
In reaction to a letter it received from the SNPM concerning the kidnapping and expulsion of the Moroccan journalists by Algerian authorities, the General Union of Arab Journalists affirmed, in a press release published on Monday, October 31, 2022, its full solidarity with the demands of the SNPM.
The Union also condemned the way in which the Algerian authorities treated the press delegation from “a brotherly country” forcing it to leave Algerian territory and preventing it from covering the Arab League Summit.
For the General Union of Arab Journalists, it is essential to respect journalists and allow them to freely exercise their mission, in accordance with international laws and customs.