Algerian government spokesman Ammer Belheimer has confirmed that Algeria has decided to withdraw its accreditation to the French international channel France 24, which is “disrespecting the rules of professional ethics, misinformation and manipulation and proving aggression” towards Algeria.
The decision came the day after a high turnout for the early assembly elections. The news fell by the end of Sunday by sending it to the Algerian National Press Agency (ABS), which recalled the Ministry of Communications last March warning the TV channel to broadcast the Hirak movement. “On March 13, a final warning was sent to France 24 before it finally withdrew its recognition.”
The news channel, which broadcast live the Assembly elections again from Algiers last Saturday, responded in the evening that the “lack of explanation” about withdrawing the accreditation of its reporters was surprising.
“Our information on Algerian news is done in terms of transparency, freedom and honesty,” France 24 said in an aerial report. When asked by the AFP, the French Foreign Ministry declined to comment.
On March 13, France 24 had already promised to “do its job as honestly as possible.” “We do our job as journalists according to the rules in place,” France 24 director Mark Cycoli told AFP.
In July 2020, France 24 correspondent Moncef ad Cassie and cameraman Ramdane Rahmaouni were taken into custody 24 hours before their release. Monchef Ad Casey is based in Algiers and has covered 24 legislative elections for the French service in France.
For many years, foreign media outlets operating in Algeria have been subject to a bureaucratic, opaque and disruptive accreditation process. Philip Agret, appointed director of Agencies France-Press (AFP) for Algeria in October 2019, has never received accreditation from the authorities. No reason has been given in this regard.
In the wake of the Hirak repression by the authorities, working conditions for Algerian journalists are difficult.
The movement continued despite the ousting of former President Bouteflika and his clan, born in February 2019, following the fifth-term rejection of Apologia Bouteflika as president with Abbasiya, and then the election of a new head of state, Abdelmadzit Deboun.
Algeria ranks 146th (out of 180) in the 2020 World Press Freedom Rankings established by the RSSF. It has lost 27 seats in five years.
Hirak calls for the abolition of the regime that has been in place since independence in 1962. Officials say key demands of the movement have been met.
After avoiding the presidential election in late 2019 and the constitutional referendum in late 2020, the Algerian people abstained from re-election last Saturday during an assembly election organized in an effort to strengthen the legitimacy of the government. According to official figures, the turnout was 70%.