48 hours before the anticipated legislative elections in Algeria, aimed at giving a false “civilian” legitimacy to the military power, two figures of freedom of expression and of the anti-regime social protest were arrested. These arrests come as the French press and international observers are present in the country.
The authoritarian Algerian regime does not hide even from foreign observers to continue to flout human rights and muzzle the opposition. Two figures of social protest, two men who have pointed out the illegitimacy of power and its destabilizing schemes, find themselves in the prisons, two days before a ballot boycotted by the Algerian people and the opposition.
Karim Tabbou, coordinator of the Democratic and Social Union (UDS) which has not been approved by the government and journalist Ihsane El Kadi, director of the Radio M and Maghreb Emergent sites, were arrested on Thursday, according to the National Committee for the release of prisoners (CNLD).
These two arrests come two days before an electoral deadline pushed by the government to grant itself supremacy over all the country’s decision-making bodies and eliminate all forms of opposition in a barely hidden strategy of totalitarianism.
This is not the first time the two have come under pressure and humiliation from the regime and yet have continued to stand up for what they believe in. Karim Tabbou had been placed under judicial control by the court of Bir Mourad Raïs in the capital in April after a complaint by the president of the National Council for Human Rights (state), Bouzid Lazhari, with whom he had an altercation.
Karim Tabbou, who is one of the figures of the protest and of the Hirak, was taken prisoner from September 2019 to July 2020 by the regime. For his part, Ihsane El Kadi, director of the Radio M and Maghreb Emergent sites, has been targeted by power for several months. Its media have been censored by the Algerian regime.
Ihsane El Kadi, had been placed under judicial supervision in May by the investigating judge at the court of Sidi M’hamed following the publication of a press article. He is accused by the regime of “disseminating false information capable of undermining national unity”, “disrupting the elections” and “reopening the case of the national tragedy” of the 1990s.
He is not the first journalist to have been imprisoned by the Algerian authorities since the start of the Hirak. Before him, Khaled Drareni paid the price for his free speech and his professionalism because he was a correspondent for TV5 Monde. He had been accused by Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune himself of being a “Khabardji”, an informant on behalf of a foreign power. And had said that he was not imprisoned because of his job.
إعتقال الصحفي إحسان القاضي
Journalist Ihsane El Kadi arrested
– Khaled Drareni (@khaleddrareni) June 10, 2021
And while the Algerian president claimed that there was no journalist in Algeria arrested for an article he wrote, here is Ihssane El Kadi is arrested for this reason, not to mention the journalist Rabeh Kareche of the newspaper Liberté Algeria , who is also currently serving a prison sentence simply for doing his job, after covering events that took place in southern Algeria, a taboo subject in Algeria, because of his blind activism for the Polisario militias and his waged war in Morocco, precisely for its southern provinces.