Tunisian journalist arbitrarily prevented from entering Algeria

Houari Boumediene Airport

The National Union of Tunisian Journalists (SNJT) denounced the expulsion of Tunisian journalist Intissar Chelly on Tuesday 12th March, by the Algerian authorities, who prevented her from entering the country and interrogated her for hours.

Intissar Chelly
Intissar Chelly

In a statement issued this afternoon, the SNJT stated that Intissar Chelly, a correspondent of the Turkish TV channel TRT, was arrested at Houari Boumediene airport when they discovered, by checking her passport, that she was a journalist. Following which she was interrogated about her political opinions and her possible connection with civil society activists.

Intissar Chelly showed her 4-day mission order and wanted to contact the channel that employs her but she was prevented from doing so. She wasn’t allowed to contact her family either.

According to the journalist’s testimony, the Algerian border force went as far as asking her questions about how she feels about the regime and the ongoing popular uprising.

Intissar Chelly has returned to Tunisia since but the motive for her deportation was never provided by the Algerian border force other than stating that she was being uncooperative.

However, it must be noted that this isn’t a first, the Algerian authorities have previously denied entry to foreign reporters, particularly on elections years.