13 October 2013

Algeria: Like Morocco, Algeria Prosecutes the Freedom of Expression Under the Pretext of Terrorism - an Algerian Blogger Arrested Over Posting Caricature About the President

press release

Cairo: — The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, ANHRI, expresses its annoyance over adopting the term terrorism by the Algerian authorities to gag the opinion makers and make them face criminal trials because of what they post on the internet.The security forces in Algeria, on Wednesday 9 October, arrested the blogger Abdel Ghani Alwy- 24- from his house against the backdrop of posting on his Facebook account a caricature about the Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

The investigations opened with the blogger on Thursday, 10 October, before the investigative judge in Algeria Court over the accusations of prejudicing a state body, insulting the president and lauding the terrorism. The investigative judge decided to detain the blogger pending investigations. In the accusation of lauding the terrorism, the authorities relied on a a scarf has "There is No God but Allah" on it, which was found by the security forces in the blogger's house. The authorities regarded this as an evidence to lauding the terrorism.

ANHRI said that, "Charging the blogger with supporting the terrorism, relaying on a fake evidence is pretext used by the Algerian authorities to mislead the public opinion and to hide the political motives to arrest the blogger an to trial him".

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information is deeply worry that the Algerian and Moroccan authorities may expand the use of terrorism term so as to gag the opposition and opinion makers, and to become a system is being followed by the two countries in the face of the political opponents. The Moroccan authorities had also arrested the prominent journalist "Ali Anzoula". He is facing a trial over accusation represented in supporting the terrorism, against the backdrop of posting a video on the website.

ANHRI calls on the Algerian authorities to stop this farcical trial and to release the blogger, who committed nothing, while he is prosecuting over his legitimate right in expressing his opinion and posting what he wants on the internet.

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