Algeria: Appeal court issues outrageous two-year prison sentence against journalist Khaled Drareni

Today, an appeal court in Algiers sentenced journalist Khaled Drareni to a two-year prison sentence over his coverage of the Hirak protest movement. Two activists, Samir Benlarbi and Slimane Hamitouche, were each sentenced to a year in prison, eight months of which were suspended, in the same sham trial. The two were released after spending their time in jail. A first instance court had sentenced Khaled Drareni, on 10 August, to three years in prison.

Today’s prison sentence for prominent journalist Khaled Drareni is a mockery of justice in a country supposedly undergoing political change and transformation following mass protests.
Amna Guellali

Responding to the news, Amna Guellali, Deputy Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International, said:

“Today’s prison sentence for prominent journalist Khaled Drareni is a mockery of justice in a country supposedly undergoing political change and transformation following mass protests. These harsh sentences underline the broader crackdown on freedoms in the country, and confirm an alarming pattern of prosecutions targeting journalists and activists who called for more democracy and respect for the rule of law in Algeria.

The Algerian authorities must immediately and unconditionally release Khaled Drareni and others who are being detained for daring to document police violence and arbitrary arrests during protests.
Amna Guellali

“The Algerian authorities must immediately and unconditionally release Khaled Drareni and others who are being detained for daring to document police violence and arbitrary arrests during protests. It is crucial for the future of human rights in Algeria that they are set free.”