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Algerian journalist detained in latest crackdown on free speech

Local media has reported that charges against Kaci could also include receiving “foreign funding”. [YouTube]

Date of publication: 29 July, 2020

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The ex-correspondent of France24 was detained in the capital Algiers.

An Algerian journalist was detained in the capital Algiers this week due to lacking media accreditation, according to France24.

Moncef Aït Kacie, a former correspondent with the international French outlet, was stopped along with his cameraman in the capital and taken to a tribunal in Bir Mourad Raïs on Tuesday, according to Italian news agency, Agenzia Nova.

"After being asked to open an investigation and his first appearance before the investigating judge, he was placed in pre-trial detention," Kaci's lawyer wrote on Facebook on Tuesday.

Local media said Kaci could be charged with receiving "foreign funding", which Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said was the attacks on media rights in Algeria, despite the overthrow of the country's former dictator, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, last year.

"RSF is deeply concerned about the increased repression of press freedom in Algeria: the authorities are plunging into the infernal spiral of repression, where new arbitrary measures are used to mask previous ones," the media rights group wrote in a tweet.

"After Khaled Drareni, our correspondent and that of TV5, imprisoned for four months and whose release we are calling for, it is the turn of two other journalists this evening to be detained. Moncef Aït Kaci (...) and his colleague Ramdane Rahmouni are victims of the relentless repression of the authorities."

Algeria has not given accreditation to any local French media correspondents, including international news agency AFP, this year.

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