Algeria: Abdou Semmar and Merouane Boudiab are released.
Paris, November 9, 2018: Internet Without Borders welcomes with relief the release of Abdou Semmar, publisher of online newspaper Algérie Part and Internet Without Borders’ correspondent in Algeria. Abdou Semmar, and his colleague and associate director Merouane Boudiab, were held in detention for 17 days in the prison of El-Harrach. Abdou Semmar has demanded the release of other journalists arrested in recent months in Algeria, including Adlene Mellah, publisher of the site Dzairpresse.com. His first words upon his release were in favor of the Press Freedom Online:
“Algeria will never be Saudi Arabia, we will fight to the end for freedom of expression.”
“We are pleased that the Algerian authorities have chosen to respect their international commitments on freedom of expression and freedom of the press, with the release of Abdou Semmar and Merouane Boudiab. But we must stay vigilant: all the charges against these two journalists, and Adlene Mellah, who is still in detention, should be abandoned. These gagging procedures are only intended to intimidate the free press, especially online. As we approach the presidential election, we encourage the Algerian authorities to protect citizens’ necessary access to information, including on the Internet, in order to allow the needed public debate in any democracy” said Julie Owono, executive director of Internet Sans Frontières.
Since October 2018, Internet Sans Frontières has been denouncing the deleterious climate that reigns in Algeria for the investigative press, especially on the Internet. Internet Sans Frontières urges the Algerian authorities to respect their international commitments and to take all necessary measures to stop the harassment of journalists and preserve freedom of expression, and free press on the Internet.