Free press / Residues of the Bouteflika regime attack the Algiers Herald

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Noureddine Ayadi

The counter-revolution orchestrated by monarchies in the Middle-East and Russia to maintain in power the remains of the Bouteflika regime has hit full throttle, even NGOs aren’t spared. At the time of the writing of this article six online news outlets, including TSA-Algerie, have been censored and as a result remain inaccessible to readers in Algeria.

Known as the “3issaba” to the inhabitants of the country, which roughly translates in English to “the clan“, the last residues of former dictator Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s regime are still active, they act with impunity and attempt to intimidate journalists, NGOs and Facebook pages deemed hostile to the regime.

Since the publication of our investigation focused on the diverse range of offences committed by Noureddine Ayadi and Sabri Boukadoum’s Foreign office, two key figures of the regime, the Algiers Herald became the subject of vicious hostilities.

A culture of mediocrity

After 20 years of Bouteflika reign, the Algerian public bodies became extremely corrupt, a culture of impunity developed and became deeply ingrained within the minds of these residues. It is a culture of disdain, a culture of the law of the jungle, a culture of pride in incompetence which has slowly become the norm.

To put things into context, the reader should know a little about these two characters.

Noureddine Ayadi, was the General Secretary at the Algerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the time of the crimes committed by his department and which occurred in Britain, he is now the General Secretary at the President’s Office in El Mouradia.

Sabri Boukadoum, on the other hand, was Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s United Nations envoy to New York. In the past, the U.N envoy had been the subject of controversy when he recruited a certain Mehdi Remaoun, the son of former Education Minister Nouria Benghabrit, an appointment judged by many Algerians as a blatant case of nepotism, the only such case reported in the history of the U.N.

Sabri Boukadoum is now the Foreign Minister of the country, as part of a largely unrecognised government.

Intimidating international NGOs

Following the publication of the article titled “A series of abuses taints the image of Algeria’s diplomacy“, which reported on other cases of abuses committed by Algeria’s diplomatic staff abroad, our facebook page was viciously assaulted by a group of trolls, which included Noureddine Ayadi’s daughter, who proceeded to publish unsubstantiated claims about the victim, subject of the article, and our publication; going as far as falsely claiming that the victim owned a flat in London worth £2 million. Unfounded claims as we’ve been able to verify with bank statements, the wages paid to regular employees at Algeria’s missions are on par with the wages paid by your local McDonald’s.

The suspect who studies at HEC Montreal – a school where fees go as high as £35,000 per year – also proceeded to share personal information on the victim and members of his family.

From what we have gathered from the legal counsel of the victim, a police complaint for invasion of privacy, endangerment and defamation is being considered to be lodged with “Sûreté du Québec” in relation to the actions of the suspect.

Troll factories

Following the intervention of the regime figure’s daughter, the Algiers Herald was added to the list of medias that are regularly targeted by regime paid trolls, known as ‘Doubab El Electroni’, these attack the work of the independent media outlets reporting on the ongoing revolution by leaving hostile comments on social networks, in our case comments that for example allege that the Algiers Herald is run by the now infamous “foreign hand“, “the CIA” or… the good old “Mossad“.

Subsequently, our IT team has detected unusual cyber attacks on our website emanating from the Ukraine.

The Algiers Herald strongly condemns these regressive practices, acts of another century that do not honour the Algerian people’s institutions; and, will keep reporting on this case until justice is done to the victim.

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