Rights watchdogs condemn Algeria’s closure of Radio M
Algeria has arrested independent journalist Ihsane El Kadi and shut down his Radio M, in a move that was decried by international media and free speech watchdogs.
Reporters Without Borders, the international media freedom group, condemned El-Kadi’s arrest and called on the authorities to “respect the work of the media in the country”.
El Kadi was arrested last Saturday as the police took him handcuffed to the Radio headquarters where computers were seized.
El Kadi was an outspoken critic of the military regime in Algeria. Prior to his arrest he questioned the veracity of President’s unfounded claim about the retrieval of 20 billion dollars that were embezzled by what they call the gang or former civilian and military officials.
His family believes his latest arrest may be connected to a column he wrote this month speculating on whether the military would back Abdelmadjid Tebboune, the current president, for a second term in 2024. “It’s the sort of thing that would not have created a problem under Bouteflika,” Tin Hinane El-Kadi, the journalist’s daughter, said
“My father has been the target of legal harassment for the past two or three years since the hirak,” said Tin Hinane . “Since then, they’ve been trying to crack down on the movement, but he’s a fighter and he continued to write.”
Algerian authorities have been cracking down on dissent since a leaderless protest movement that brought thousands of people on to the streets in cities across the country fizzled out with the onset of coronavirus in March 2020.