Algerian media faces 'hostile environment'

Detention of two television executives is part of the state's efforts to intimidate and silence media, journalists say.

Algerian media faces 'hostile environment'

World Bulletin / News Desk

Independent media outlets in Algeria are under increasing pressure, despite a guarantee of press freedom in the country's newly approved constitution, journalists say.

Two television executives have spent the past three weeks in jail after investigations into two satirical talk shows. Mehdi Benaissa, the manager of KBC TV, and Riad Hartouf, the private channel's head of production, were arrested last month, along with culture ministry official Nora Nedjai, who licensed the shows. The group stands accused of engaging in illegal production practices.

Their arrests came only days after Algerian security forces shut down production of the KBC talk shows Ness Stah and Ki Hna Ki Ness, which premiered during Ramadan. The satirical shows have tackled controversial political and economic issues in the country, including allegations of corruption against long-serving President Abdelaziz Bouteflika and members of his government. One sketch on Ness Stah made an allusion to the fragile health of Bouteflika, who was partially paralysed after suffering a stroke in 2013.

"The suspension of both shows is a message of intimidation for private media companies, particularly for publications or productions which depict Algeria's regime with derision," said Abdou Semmar, editor-in-chief of the Algerian digital newspaper Algerie-Focus and a political commentator on Ki Hna Ki Ness.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 17 Temmuz 2016, 17:06