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Algeria Recalls France Envoy over Wanted Journalist

Algeria Recalls France Envoy over Wanted Journalist

Thursday, 9 February, 2023 - 06:45
Amira Bouraoui. Twitter

Algeria recalled on Wednesday its envoy to France "for consultations" after Paris intervened to fly out via Tunisia Amira Bouraoui, an activist and journalist who is wanted by Algiers, the presidency said.

In an official note, President Abdelmadjid Tebboune "firmly protested against the clandestine and illegal exfiltration of an Algerian citizen" via Tunisia to France, a statement said.

It said that Tebboune had ordered ambassador Said Moussi to be recalled from Paris "with immediate effect".

Bouraoui, 46, had been arrested in Tunisia on Friday and risked being deported to Algeria, but she was able to board a flight to France on Monday evening.

A doctor by training, she was sentenced in Algeria in May 2021 to two years in jail for "offending Islam" and for insulting the president. 

She was not placed under arrest pending an appeal.

Bouraoui was banned from leaving Algeria, and was arrested in Tunisia when trying to board a flight for France, using her French passport.

But a judge released her on Monday and she was then taken away by police before obtaining protection from French diplomats in Tunis.

Shortly before Moussi was recalled on Wednesday, the Algerian foreign ministry said it had sent an official note to the French embassy expressing "the firm condemnation by Algeria of the violation of national sovereignty by diplomatic, consular and security personnel of the French State".

It said these French personnel in Tunisia "engaged in a clandestine and illegal operation to exfiltrate an Algerian national".

In the note, Algeria said the incident had caused "great damage" to Algerian-French relations.

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