Cairo: — The Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) today condemned the detention of four "Echorouk TV" journalists, together with beating another journalist, by Algerian authorities yesterday. The journalists were arrested during their coverage of a political activists' protest that was denouncing President Bouteflika's candidacy in the presidential election, which is scheduled to be held on April 17.
Police force dispersed gatherings of dozens of people who were participating in a demonstration against President Bouteflika's fourth candidacy in the next presidential elections. During the dispersal, the police arrested four journalists from "Echorouk TV": Abdel Nour Boukhamkham, Rachedi Radwan, Zainab bin Zath, and Joseph Baalog. They also beat the journalist "Gahida Ramdani" besides the detention and the attack of tens of citizens. This represents a clear violation of the right to peaceful protest and collective expression of opinion. This is in addition to impeding journalists from practicing their work.
ANHRI believes that the detention of the journalists is a clear infringement of the right to freely express opinion and expression, and a continuation of the arbitrary procedures followed by Algerian authorities against journalists, activists, and opinion makers.
ANHRI calls upon Algerian authorities to halt the prosecution of journalists, to abandon the gagging policy, and to respect the right to peaceful protest and freedom of expression.