18 July 2018

Algerian Blogger On Hunger Strike Over Seven-Year Jail Term

Photo: Voice Of America
(File photo).
press release

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reiterates its support for Merzoug Touati, an imprisoned Algerian blogger who has been on hunger strike for the past ten days in protest against his seven-year jail sentence on charges of "complicit relations with a foreign power" and "inciting rebellion." His case must be reexamined at once.

Detained since the beginning of last year, Touati stopped eating on 8 July to press his demands for his release, the quashing of his conviction and the withdrawal of all judicial proceedings against him.

Touati was initially sentenced in May to ten years in prison and fine of 50,000 dinars (360 euros) but the jail term was reduced to seven years on appeal at the end of June.

He was arrested on 17 January 2017, eight days after posting a Skype interview on social networks with a person who identified himself as an Israeli diplomat and claimed that there had been an Israeli liaison office in Algiers in the 1990s.

"We have repeatedly condemned Merzoug Touati's treatment and disproportionate sentence and now he is risking his life to protest against this sentence," said Souhaieb Khayati, the head of RSF's North Africa bureau. "We remind the Algerian authorities that they are responsible for his survival and we urge the judicial system to quickly reexamine his case. This blogger has been wrongfully punished for using his right to inform."

Since his arrest, Touati has staged several hunger strikes to draw attention to the unjust nature of his detention.

Algeria is ranked 136th out of 180 countries in RSF's 2018 World Press Freedom Index.


Uganda Wrap Up Algeria Trip With Three Silver, Two Bronze

"Although we have not returned with gold, our performance was good," said Brian Kasirye, Team Uganda's captain at the… Read more »

See What Everyone is Watching

Copyright © 2018 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 700 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.