Lawyers from Africa and Europe have just announced the formation of an “international collective of lawyers” for the defense of the Algerian journalist Ihsane El Kadi, prosecuted and arrested at the end of December for “receipt of funds and benefits from a foreign source for the purpose of political propaganda”.
In a statement released this week, a dozen lawyers and human rights defenders from Morocco, including lawyers Souad Brahma, Abderrahim Jamaï and Mohamed Sadkou, from Tunisia, Mauritania, Belgium and France, announced the constitution of an international collective of lawyers to defend the journalist Ihsane El Kadi. Lawyers also called for the immediate release of the director of the Algerian station Radio M and the information site Maghreb Emergent as well as the release of the seals of its two media.
According to the press release, Ihsane El Kadi is being prosecuted under articles 95, 95 bis and 96 of the Penal Code relating to “receipt of funds from a foreign source for the purpose of political propaganda“, to the “receipt of funds and benefits from domestic and foreign organizations and individuals with intent to commit acts likely to undermine the security and stability of the state, the national unity and territorial integrity» and to the «publication to the general public of content likely to harm the national interest and collection of donations without authorization“.
The members of the new collective made a point of recalling that these lawsuits constitute the fourth case against journalist Ihsane El Kadi in the past two years.
“Apart from the fact that he is presumed innocent and that he must benefit from all the guarantees of a fair trial, provided for in internal texts and international conventions, a fortiori in his capacity as a journalist, pre-trial detention is in no way justified in his case, which, moreover, has all the necessary guarantees of representationadded the lawyers.
Regarding the sealed media run by the journalist, the collective stressed that their closure penalizes more than thirty employees and their families. “We are, moreover, honored by the confidence of Ihsane El Kadi and his family, and determined to defend him, alongside our Algerian sisters and brothers, before the courts of Algeria and international bodies.“, they said.
It should be recalled that on the night of December 24, 2022, the Algerian journalist was arrested and placed in police custody. After five days in police custody, El Kadi was remanded to El Harrach prison in Algiers. In addition, the Algiers Indictment Chamber rejected, on January 15, 2023, the request for the release of Ihsane El Kadi, filed by his lawyers.