Khaled Drareni, director of the online newspaper Casbah Tribune and Algeria correspondent for Reporters Without Borders (RSF by its French acronym) and TV5 Monde, was sentenced on Tuesday on appeal to two years in prison for “inciting an unarmed gathering and undermining the integrity of the national territory”.
Imprisoned on March 29, the Algerian journalist will remain in detention. According to one of his lawyers, Mustapha Bouchachi, the case will be taken to the Supreme Court. This verdict was issued while several people were calling for the release of the journalist whose health condition is deteriorating.
In response to the news, RSF’s Secretary General, Christophe Deloire, considered that “[Drareni]’s continued detention is proof that the regime is trapped in a logic of absurd, unjust and violent repression”.
Chekib Drareni, the journalist’s brother, said he was “disgusted, shocked and disappointed by the Court’s decision, which once again reinforces injustice in Algeria”.
At the initiative of RSF and TV5 Monde, a support demonstration was held in Paris in the presence of Mayor Ariel Weil.
The demonstrators called for the release of all political detainees in Algeria, estimated at fifty people according to human rights defenders.
Khaled Drareni, 40 years old, was arrested last March after covering a student demonstration in Algiers. Prosecuted together with Samir Benlarbi and Slimane Hamitouche, two figures of the anti-regime uprising who were acquitted of the charge of “inciting unarmed assembly” and were sentenced to one year in prison, including four months in prison, for “undermining national unity”.
Drareni was also convicted for having criticism he made on social networks on “corruption and money” of the political system and for having published the press release of a coalition of political parties calling for a general strike.