An Algerian journalist has been ordered to be detained.
According to a lawyer and a rights group, an Algerian journalist from a local French-language weekly has been held in detention on charges of belonging to a terrorist organization and distributing false information.
According to the National Committee for the Release of Detainees, a judge in Algiers’ Sidi M’hamed neighborhood ordered Liberte journalist Mohamed Mouloudj to be held in temporary detention on Tuesday evening (CNLD).
According to lawyer Abdelghani Badi, Mouloudj is charged of “undermining national unity, belonging to a terrorist organization, and distributing false information.”
Last year, the Algerian government made it illegal to spread what it considers “fake news” that undermines national unity.
Human Rights Watch has accused Algerian authorities of pursuing criminal charges against journalists and others based on weakly worded criminal statutes.
According to the Algerian League for the Defense of Human Rights, Mouloudj was arrested on Sunday and his residence was searched (LADDH).
According to the CNLD, six other people arrested in the same case were also remanded in detention.
On Monday, police reported the arrest of 16 people accused of being members of the Movement for the Autonomy of Kabylie (MAK), a terrorist organization according to the government.
One of the 16 suspects is said to be an anonymous journalist.
They were detained as part of an inquiry into recent forest fires in the northeastern Kabylie region, as well as the lynching of a man after rumors spread that he was responsible for the devastating fires.
Hassan Bouras, an Algerian journalist, was detained on September 6 and formally placed in preventive prison on Sunday, his lawyers claimed, accusing him of “glorifying terrorism” and other allegations.
According to Reporters Without Borders’ World Press Freedom Index, Algeria is placed 146th out of 180 countries and territories.
Around 200 people are detained, according to the CNLD, in connection with the Hirak pro-democracy protest movement, which has shook the North African country on an intermittent basis since 2019, or over individual freedoms.