- Please take action as-soon-as possible. This Urgent Action expires on June 6, 2023.
- Write a letter in your own words or using the sample below as a guide to one or both government officials listed. You can also email, fax, call or Tweet them.
- Click here to let us know the actions you took on Urgent Action 37.23. It’s important to report because we share the total number with the officials we are trying to persuade and the people we are trying to help.
President of the Republic of Algeria
Abdelmadjid Tebboune Presidence
de la republique
Place Mohammed Seddik Benyahiya, El Mouradia,
Alger 16000 Algerie
Email: [email protected]
Ambassador Mohammed Haneche
Embassy of the People’s
Democratic Republic of Algeria
2118 Kalorama Rd NW
Washington DC 20008
Phone: 202 265 2800 I Fax: 202 986 5906
Email: [email protected]
I am writing to express my deep concern about the sentencing of journalist Ihsane El Kadi to five years in prison and a fine of 700,000 Algerian dinars (around USD 5,150) on trumped up and vague charges which are being used to criminalize journalism.
On 2 April, the Sidi M’hamed first instance tribunal in Algiers convicted Ihsane El Kadi on charges of “receiving funds for political propaganda” and “harming the national security of the state”, under Articles 95 and 95 bis respectively of the Penal Code. According to his lawyer, these charges relate to money which his daughter sent to him and which he invested into his media company – something which is not a criminal offense under Algerian law. The court presented no evidence that Ihsane El Kadi’s media company creates political propaganda nor that it is harmful to state security, meaning the charges against him are unfounded.
On 2 April, the Tribunal of Sidi M’hamed also ordered the dissolution of Ihsane El Kadi’s media company “Interface Media”, which encompasses Radio M and Maghreb Emergent, and that it pays for damages to the Algerian audio-visual regulatory body a fine of 10 million dinars (around 73 862 USD), following the authorities’ launching a civil lawsuit against Interface Media for “exploiting an audiovisual communication service without authorization”. This is the latest in a long line of examples of Algerian authorities limiting media freedom and punishing dissenting voices.
Plainclothes security officials arrested Ihsane El Kadi in his home, without a warrant, on 24 December 2022. His arrest came just after he published an article on his predictions for the next presidential elections in 2024 and outlining the role of the Algerian army in repressing freedom of expression in Algeria. The Algerian authorities have previously targeted Ihsane El Kadi several times through judicial harassment and interrogations about his journalism. Ihsane El Kadi remains detained in El Harrach prison in Algiers.
I urge you to immediately and unconditionally release Ihsane El Kadi and quash his conviction. I further demand that you end the targeted crackdown and censorship of independent media and journalists in Algeria through vaguely worded articles of the Penal Code which are used to violate the right to freedom of expression.