The Algerian journalist, Abdou Semmar, exiled in France since 2019, revealed some of the pressure exerted by the Algerian regime against his person in order to silence him. The system would hold “hostage” his two minor children for three years.
Part of a list of Algerians considered opponents by the regime, Abdou Semmar is one of the “black beasts” of Algerian power in place since 2019.
Exfiltrated in France in 2019 after being imprisoned, the journalist is one of the rare voices who still dare to criticize the decisions of the Algerian power, to call for a Maghreb reconciliation and to reveal several scandals in the mysteries of power in his country.
But the price to pay for this journalist who has won all his defamation lawsuits in France brought by Algeria is blackmailing his family and more particularly his children, who have remained in his native country alongside their mother.
In two videos posted on Youtube, which received a great wave of support, the journalist explained how the Algerian regime prevents his two children from seeing their father again and uses these minors as means of pressure to silence him, as he succeeded to shut down all independent media outlets in Algeria in recent years.
“I told you how my parents and my children have been held hostage since 2020 2021 and how I have not been able to see my children for three, how the Algerian regime demanded that I + lower my pants +, to close my mouth, to stop being a committed, independent journalist, to stop investigating and to stop writing on the hottest issues in Algerian news, “ did he declare.
Abdou Semmar considered that this blackmail is explained by his “revelations that disturb senior officials of the Algerian regime and that the Algerian power told him to stop revealing the failings of this regime in order to be able to see his children and his parents again.
In one of the videos, he explains that his two children, aged 6 and 13, from a previous marriage, were banned from leaving the territory when they showed up at the airport in Algeria while they were to visit him.
Abdou Semmar further explains that in Algeria anyone with the same surname as him or with the same intonation is persecuted by police agents, thus revealing that even his ex-wife with whom he has no connection and who has no connection with her work, is persecuted by the regime and her bank account has been frozen by the Algerian authorities.
“The Algerian regime is in bad faith. I negotiated with them like any human being who wants to calm his relations with his native country and who wants to find his native country. I’m not going to lie to you, I dream of coming back to Algeria.” he said, claiming to have started negotiations in the summer of 2022.
He claims to have been “shocked by the conditions imposed on you by the Algerian authorities in order to be able to negotiate with them”, adding that there are no concessions on either side.
“They want to negotiate a father’s right to see his children (…) these are things that are not negotiable”, he declared, qualifying the Algerian regime as “machiavellian” and “diabolical”.
According to him, the Algerian regime would have asked him to apologize and send a letter in which he undertakes to respect the symbols of the State. Refusing to apologize for doing his job as a journalist, Semmar reportedly sent the letter to the President of the Republic as requested, without getting an official response.
“No official answer… they call you on the phone from sources and tell you that you have to stop your shows on Youtube, you must not talk about the president anymore, you must not talk about Said Chengriha anymore, even the ministers must to avoid “he revealed.
The journalist who promised to make further revelations on his case in the coming days, explained that during the presidency of Abdelaziz Bouteflika which lasted 20 years, it was possible to criticize his decisions without being worried by the power.
“We criticized him night and day, (there were) caricatures, editorials, comments. did that prevent Bouteflika from staying in power for 20 years? No way “he cited as an example.
In his negotiations with the Algerian power, Abdou Semmar added that there were no plans to pardon him while he is being prosecuted for dozens of cases. “I was sentenced to death on October 17, 2022”, he added, a few months after his fruitless negotiations in which the journalist did not agree to surrender to the Algerian regime free of charge without obtaining any guarantee or real reconciliation.
“They want the end of free speech, the end of freedom of the press, they want you to submit. They don’t want reconciliation, they want subjugation, voluntary submission, they want bondage.” he asserted.
According to the revelations of the Algerian journalist, and in the absence of official answers and signed documents, it would seem that the power in Algeria is not ready to welcome him and let him exercise his profession freely nor to live freely but would seek to bring him to Algeria simply to imprison him for life.