A number of Tunisian organizations called upon the Algerian judiciary to release journalist Khaled Drareni who was sentenced to three years in jail
The 35 organizations, including the National Syndicate of Tunisian Journalists and the Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights (FTDES), issued a statement expressing growing concerns over the repeated harassment cases, prosecutions, and arrests that targeted a number of Algerian journalists, bloggers and activists over the past months.
The statement warned that this verdict is cruel and violates international standards for trial, urging authorities to cancel the sentence which aims to silence Drareni and all journalists.
It also saw that the ruling sends a negative message about the new Algerian authority, despite its pledges to establish a better climate for freedom of press and expression.
The organizations renewed absolute solidarity with the Algerian journalist, affirming adherence to his right to work freely, and demanding his immediate release.
Drareni, 40, editor of the Casbah Tribune news site and correspondent for French-language channel TV5 Monde, was arrested on charges of "inciting an unarmed gathering" and "endangering national unity" after covering demonstrations by the "Hirak" protest movement.
On March 7, Drareni was about to take pictures of demonstrators when police arrested him and took him to a security center in Algiers’ eastern suburb.
Meanwhile, a group of Algerian journalists started an online petition that collected more than 1750 signatures calling for Drareni’s immediate release, stressing that he does not belong in jail.