The satirical news website, ‘El Manchar‘, announced that it is shutting down. On Facebook, the website’s editorial team said it had to suspend publication without initially revealing the reasons behind the decision.
“El Manchar, it’s over. We will meet again in a better Algeria. Or not”, announced the much-liked website among Algerian youth. A wave of reactions and indignation followed this announcement, a number of social media users initially wondered whether it was censorship or a joke of poor taste.
El Manchar’s editorial team doesn’t exclude coming back “We will find ourselves in a better Algeria. An Algeria where this fear will not exist and where everyone can deploy their creative forces. See you soon“.
As for the reasons behind the act of self-censorship, the editorial team cites “the climate of repression of freedoms, the imprisonment of citizens following their activities on social media has led us to reflect on the risks that we run. We lived moments of fear and we resisted for 5 years trying to contribute in our own way, through satire, to the difficulties that our country and our citizens were going through. We didn’t think we would get there”, read the press release.
The announcement follows a wave of arrests of activists, journalists and social media users critical of the military junta in power.