" Morocco and Algeria have a sad common point, the unfortunate tendency to silence journalists ", said the NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW), citing the case of Khaled Drareni and Omar Radi. If the result is the same, check prison, the way they do differs. "The mode of operation of the Morocco is to launch a series of criminal charges against the journalist targeted, while the algerian authorities prefer to resort to the offences that the criminal Code defines very loosely," said HRW.
Read also the Conviction of Khaled Drareni : the shock
Algeria : a trial to tame the hirak
In Algiers, Drareni has been sentenced to three years in prison and a fine of 50 000 dinars. The public prosecutor demanded four with a deprivation of civil rights and a fine. Reason : "threat to national integrity" and " inciting a crowd not armed ". He is accused his coverage of the hirak, particularly on social networking sites, for TV5, as well as for the site Kasbah-Tribune. His Twitter account, 146 000 subscribers, it added to the excitement of power, challenged in the street, refusing to accept that this protest is brilliant (millions of demonstrators every Friday since February 2019) can be widely disseminated. The message sent on 10 August 2020 by the court of Sidi Me Hamed sounds like a warning to all journalists algerians who work for foreign media. Samir Benlarbi and Slimane Hamitouche, tried by the same court, were sentenced to two years in prison, including four months firm. These two activists had been arrested on march 7 during a demonstration of the hirak. They have been released on bail, having already served more than four months in custody.
also Read Algeria : should it be "déconfiner" the hirak ?
Morocco : the investigative journalists in the firing line
On July 24, Radi explains to be "reconvened for the 8th time by the BNPJ" (national Brigade of the judicial police). It will be put into a cell on the 29th of July. Reason ? "Harming the external security of the State through relationships with foreign agents and through the receipt of foreign funds. "The moroccan police as well as the counter-intelligence unleashed, according to his relatives. Another accusation of "rape" has been added. Omar Radi would have assaulted a woman in mid-July. For the infringement of national security, the moroccan penal Code provides for a punishment ranging from one to five years. Up to ten years if he is convicted of sexual assault.
In 2018, Taoufik Bouachrine, a founder of the influential daily newspaper Akhbar al-Yom has been sentenced to twelve years in prison for sexual abuse. Souleimane Raissouni, editor-in-chief of the newspaper, waiting for his part in preventive detention for the same reasons. The media close to the government have given the charge against their three colleagues. The technique resembles that used against Julian Assange : charges of "hacking" by the american justice, and warrant of arrest for "sexual assault" launched by Sweden. The dictatorship of Ben Ali had used this method against the opponent Taoufik Ben Brik : six months in prison in 2009 for assault on a woman." Reporters without borders, had spoken of " pounce ". As long as justice has not been rendered in a context of serene, not opinion. We note that it is journalists little complacent with power.
also Read Algeria : it ends well journalists
In Tunis, six months farm for violation of the sacred
Emna Chargui, 27 years old, could not imagine that a simple sharing of a sura imaginary dedicated to the coronavirus send them to prison. This young woman has received a sentence of six months farm for "violation of the sacred" and " incitement to hatred between religions ". It has appealed. The hearing is expected to take place in September. The why of this story remains a puzzle. Why police and justice have mobilized high-level around this simple click ? About Taoufik Ben Brik, still him, he was sentenced in the first instance to one year in prison for "defamation" with immediate effect. This big mouth is well known to Tunisians had taken up the cause for the candidate Nabil Karoui during the election campaign. The business man had been imprisoned a few weeks before the first round of the presidential election. Ben Brik had said "that in other countries, we take the weapons, and people go out to fight..." The court of appeal commuted the sentence to eight with a suspension. The SNJT, the national syndicate of tunisian journalists, were talking about a " return of the methods Ben Ali ".
social networks under police surveillance
this is Drareni, Emna Chergui, the accusers themselves are based on what has been published Facebook, the first media in the Maghreb. A country such as Tunisia counts more than 7 million users (11.8 million people), Morocco 16 million (36 million population) and 17 million in Algeria (42 million inhabitants). The real power lies here. Information posted on all Instagram, Twitter, FB and others can take a proportion unsuspected. And that, the powers that be do not like. The period of the Covid-19 has helped to crack down with greater peace of mind.