Journalist Khaled Drareni was placed under arrest by the Algiers court on Wednesday, March 2, on what many consider nonsense charges fabricated by the justice minister Belkacem Zeghmati’s department; taking advantage of the Covid-19 outbreak to settle scores with journalists, opposition figures and demonstrators.
“Journalist Khaled Drareni has just been officially arrested by the police who took him to the police station this evening where he will be presented tomorrow, Saturday, March 28, to execute the indictment of the Algiers Court”, announced the CNLD (National Committee for the Freeing of Detainees) in a statement posted on its Facebook wall.
The Reporters Without Borders and TV5 Monde correspondent will spend his first night in El Harrach prison. He will join the dozens of political prisoners who have been languishing there for many months.
Khaled Drareni was relentlessly covering the pro-democracy protests. It is deplorable that while most nations are mobilising their resources to fight the Covid-19 outbreak, the Algerian authorities appear to be focusing on violating international conventions and the country’s own laws.
The Algiers Herald takes this opportunity to condemn these despotic practices and calls for the Algerian authorities to immediately, and unconditionally, release Khaled Drareni.