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Le monde de la presse en Algérie

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Liberté de la presse en Algérie


Algeria / The freedom of the media

Reporters without borders welcomes release of Ahmed Benaoum

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Reporters Without Borders welcomed the release of Ahmed Benaoum, editor of the press group Er-rai El Aam, who was acquitted by a court in Oran on 19 June 2005. However the worldwide press freedom organisation said it regretted that he had waited 11 months and pointed out that Mohamed Benchicou had been in prison for one year and "that other journalists face imprisonment at any time for upsetting the government."

Benaoum had been sentenced to two years in prison based on a complaint from the tax authorities. Scores of other complaints had also been lodged against him in defamation and common-law cases. On 28 June 2004, Benaoum was waiting to appear before a court in Oran in a defamation case when he served with a warrant that took him from the court house straight to prison. The warrant issued by the Oran court of criminal appeal was based on a complaint from the Office for estate agency promotion and management.
The press group headed by Benaoum published the dailies Er-rai and Le Journal de l'Ouest, along with the weekly Détective, until August  2003, when the state-run printers demanded the newspapers pay their debts. Since they were unable to pay the newspapers were closed.
Elsewhere, Mohamed Benchicou, editor of the banned daily Le Matin, has been held in al-Harrash prison in Algiers for one year. His request for release on health grounds was refused on 20 April this year.

Maghreb & Middle-East Desk

Reporters Without Borders
5 rue Geoffroy-Marie 
F - 75009 Paris
33 1 44 83 84 84
33 1 45 23 11 51 (fax)


 © Reporters without borders, Jun 21 st, 2005

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