Algerian minister threatens to revoke accreditation of foreign press

On March 12, 2015, Algerian Communications Minister Hamid Grine said in a press conference that authorities had the right to revoke the accreditation of foreign correspondents if the journalists engaged in insult or defamation, according to news reports.

Grine said in the press conference that foreign journalists needed to “respect the rules” of the country, news reports said. The minister added that the Ministry of Communications would release a statement that would indicate to foreign journalists the need for them to “respect the Algerian laws and ethics of the profession and avoid insult, violence, and defam[ation], otherwise their accreditations will be withdrawn.”

The statement, which was posted on the ministry’s website on March 15, 2015, said the ministry renews press accreditation annually according to current regulations and that it had “the right to not renew accreditation when the beneficiary exceeds, by his actions, the purely professional framework for which the accreditation attributed to him.”

A few days before the press conference, Grine urged human rights groups to visit Algeria and “read its press before making judgments,” according to a report by Reuters. “We are an open country,” Grine said.