Geneva Council for Rights and Liberties (GCRL) calls on the UN Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression Mr.David Kaye, to urgently intervene and communicate with the Algerian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release jailed journalist Khaled Drareni detained solely for exercising his right to freedom of the press
GCRL filed an urgent appeal to the UN Special Rapporteur informing about the arbitrary detention of the journalist who has been in prison since 29 of March
Drareni is the Algeria correspondent for Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and the founder of the Casbah Tribune website. He was covering protests which shook Algeria for most of last year, forcing President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to resign in April 2019, before they were suspended over the coronavirus outbreak.
GCRL reported that journalist Drareni was arrested on March 27, at his house in Algiers and was held in a police station for two nights according to news reports. On March 29, the Sidi M’Hamed court in Algiers ordered Drareni’s detention in el-Harach prison in Algiers, but on March 30, the court moved him to Kolea prison outside of the capital.
It is worth mentioning that journalist Drareni was previously arrested on March 7, while covering a peaceful protest, then he appeared before the prosecutor and kept in detention for three days before being brought before the prosecutor of the Court of Sidi M’hamed. He was charged with incitement to “an unarmed gathering” and “undermining national unity”. He was then placed under judicial control
In light of this serious attack on freedom of the press, the GCRL calls on Mr David Kaye to put pressure on the Algerian authorities for the immediate release of journalist Khaled Drareni and for the lifting of all criminal proceedings against him. It also urges him to take every appropriate step to address the case of Drarni and all other jailed journalists
full letter here