Algeria cancels France 24 operating license: state media | Middle East News

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The government alleged that the exit had shown “clear and repeated hostility” towards Algeria and its institutions.

Algeria canceled the accreditation of France 24, the communications ministry said on Sunday, a day after parliamentary elections in the former French colony.

The move was due to the “clear and repeated hostility of the satellite news channel towards our country and its institutions,” ministry and government spokesman Ammar Belhimer was quoted as saying by the state news agency. APS news.

Belhimer also accused France 24 of violating journalistic rules and ethics, saying it “practices misinformation and manipulation in addition to a confirmed hostility against Algeria.”

The media reported that authorities had given the channel a final warning on March 13 about its “coverage of Friday’s marches” of the long-running anti-government protest movement Hirak.

In a statement on Sunday, the public service broadcaster said it was “surprised that it had not received any explanation” about the measure, and stressed that “we cover Algerian news in a transparent, independent and honest manner.”

The French government, which maintains strained ties with Algiers, did not comment immediately.

Both foreign and local Algerian journalists often face bureaucratic and unclear procedures for obtaining work permits.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) ranked Algeria 146th out of 180 countries and territories in its 2020 World Press Freedom Index, down 27 places from 2015.

The withdrawal of France 24 accreditation came a day after the North African country held legislative elections, with almost 70% of voters abstaining according to official data.

It also comes amid rising official pressure on Hirak and a series of arrests of journalists and opposition figures.

Independent journalist Khaled Drareni and the director of a pro-reform radio station, Ihsane El-Kadi, were among seven people arrested on Thursday.

Although former Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika gave up anti-regime protests in 2019, demonstrations have continued to demand a review of the system of government in place since France’s independence in 1962.

Authorities say the movement’s main demands have been met and accuse the other protesters of working against Algeria’s interests.

The Hirak movement returned to the streets in February after a nearly one-year hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, as it also survived an arrest campaign, presidential elections and a constitutional referendum aimed in part at bury him.

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