13 July 2016

Algeria: RSF Decries Continuing Harassment of El Khabar Media Group

press release

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns today's court decision prohibiting the sale of shares in El Khabar, an Arabic-language media group, to Ness Prod, a company owned by Cevital, Algeria's biggest privately-owned industrial conglomerate. At the same time, RSF reiterates its call for the immediate release of Mehdi Benaissa and Riadh Hartouf, two executives with KBC, a TV channel that is part of the El Khabar group.

Today's decision voiding El Khabar's sale of a majority stake to Ness Prod was handed down by an administrative court based in the Algiers district of Bir Mourad Rais. It confirmed the provisional ruling that the same court issued several weeks ago.

Under today's ruling, a copy of which has yet to be received by El Khabar's legal representatives, El Khabar will have to pay all legal costs. El Khabar's lawyers told RSF that they will file an appeal with the Council of State, Algeria's highest court.

"Another blow has been dealt to El Khabar's journalists and all of Algeria's media," said Yasmine Kacha, the head of RSF's North Africa desk. "We hope that El Khabar will be able to find the necessary strength to confront this drastic judicial decision, which threatens the group's independence and economic future."

RSF has repeatedly voiced support for El Khabar in recent weeks, as the media group has been subjected to repeated harassment by the authorities. When Benaissa and Hartouf were arrested on 24 June for allegedly recording a TV programme without proper permits, RSF reacted quickly with a call for their immediate release.

A court today rejected a request by El Khabar's lawyers for their release. They are scheduled to be tried on 18 July.

Algeria is ranked 129th out of 180 countries in RSF's 2016 World Press Freedom Index.


Working Visit Of The Chairman Of The African Union Commission In Algeria

The Chairman of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, made a working visit to Algeria from March 10 to 12,… Read more »

Copyright © 2016 Reporters sans Frontières. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 800 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.