Algeria – The verdict for Khaled Drareni is set for September 8. The Algerian journalist and his lawyers are counting on his release at the end of the appeal proceedings.
The correspondent for TV5MONDE and Reporters Without Borders in Algeria was sentenced to three years in prison for his reporting during demonstrations by Hirak, the popular opposition movement.
Drareni’s lawyer, Mostapha Bouchachi said:
“I saw Khaled Drareni two days ago, he is in a good spirit, he is confident and considers that he has done his job as a journalist and did not commit an offence that is punishable by the Algerian penal code. And I am as well confident as a lawyer, because if the Algerian court applies the law, they can only rule for his release.”
“If justice does not treat the case as it did for his colleagues, who are free, the campaign will continue and it will be bigger and damage the image of Algeria, that has better things to do at the moment,” said another co-journalist, Ihsane EL Kadi.
People continue to mobilize in support of Drareni and to defend press freedom. A rally was held on Monday in Algiers, in front of the Media House, where many activists and journalists were present.
On August 10, Drareni was found guilty of “incitement to unarmed assembly” and “undermining national unity” by the court. He was sentenced to three years and fined 50,000 dinars (R8,461).