Two Algerian Journalists Arrested for Publishing Video of Women Protesting Government Treatment

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Algerian authorities arrested journalists Sofiane Ghirous and Ferhat Omar for airing a video showing businesswomen protesting mistreatment at a government event.

Algerian authorities have detained two journalists, Sofiane Ghirous and Ferhat Omar from the news website "Algerie Scoop," after they aired a video depicting businesswomen protesting their treatment at a government-sponsored event. The National Committee for the Liberation of Detainees reported that the journalists were arrested for allegedly broadcasting content deemed as "incitement and hate speech."

In the video, female startup founders accused the government of humiliating and showing contempt towards them during an innovation event organized by the Ministry of Education and Professional Training.

Ghirous serves as the editor-in-chief of Algerie Scoop, accredited by the government in 2021, while Omar is the website's director. Reporters Without Borders recently lowered Algeria's ranking in its freedom of expression index to 139th out of 180 in 2024, citing increased pressure on independent media and threats against journalists.

In another incident, authorities raided Librairie Gouraya bookstore in Bejaia, arresting French author Dominique Martre, Algerian publishers, journalists, and activists ahead of a book signing event for "Shared Kabylia." The book by Martre recounts her experiences teaching French in Kabylia during the 1970s.

These actions have raised concerns about freedom of expression in Algeria, particularly as the country prepares for elections in September, with President Tebboune expected to seek reelection.