Algeria: French TV Anchors Join Protest for RSF’s Jailed Algeria Correspondent

Ten French television presenters joined Reporters Without Borders (RSF) in demonstrating outside the Algerian embassy in Paris this morning in support of RSF’s jailed Algeria correspondent, Khaled Drareni, whose appeal against a prison sentence is due to be heard in Algiers tomorrow.

Drareni, who is also the French TV channel TV5 Monde’s correspondent, was sentenced to three years in prison on 10 August for covering the “Hirak” anti-government protests in Algeria. He has been jailed since late March.

The ten presenters taking part in today’s demonstration at the joint request of RSF and the Khaled Drareni support committee were Marie-Laure Augry, Gilles Bouleau, Daphné Burki, Anne-Claire Coudray, Laurent Delahousse, Françoise Joly, Mohammed Kaci, Guy Lagache, Harry Roselmack and Bernard de la Villardière.

“We are gathered here on the eve of Khaled Drareni’s appeal hearing to request his release,” RSF secretary-general Christophe Deloire said. “By sentencing Khaled to three years in prison, Algeria is violating not only its international obligations and its own constitution but also the ideals of Algeria’s independence. The Algerian authorities wanted to make an example of Khaled Drareni in order to intimidate all journalists. In so doing, they have turned him into a symbol of resistance against censorship.”

De la Villardière said: “Khaled Drareni is young, talented and admirable. He chose to stay in Algeria. He is one of those courageous Algerian journalists who are fighting for freedom of expression in their country.”