New York, June 15, 2021 – In response to Algerian authorities’ recent decision to revoke the accreditation of French public broadcaster France 24, the Committee to Protect Journalists issued the following statement:
“Instead of responding to Algerian citizens’ demands, authorities are instead resorting to petty retaliation against the messengers,” said CPJ Senior Middle East and North Africa Researcher Justin Shilad. “Algerian authorities should reverse their decision stripping France 24’s accreditation and allow the channel’s journalists, and all journalists in the country, to work freely.”
On June 13, the Ministry of Communications issued a statement, attributed to Communications Minister Ammar Belhimer, saying that France 24’s accreditation was withdrawn in response to the channel’s “clear and repeated hostility towards our country and its institutions.” The broadcaster published a statement later that day saying that authorities had not offered any specific explanation for the decision.
The revocation came one day after Algeria held legislative elections, which saw the lowest voter turnout in 20 years, according to France 24. In March, Belhimer threatened to withdraw France 24’s accreditation over its coverage of ongoing protests in the country.
CPJ could not immediately determine whether France 24 correspondents would be permitted to remain in the country. In 2019, Algerian authorities expelled Agence France-Presse bureau chief Aymeric Vincenot after refusing to renew his accreditation, thereby causing his residency permit to expire, as CPJ documented at the time.