Algerian security forces as pictured in the capital Algiers on September 19, 2021. (AFP/Ryad Kramdi)

Algerian journalist Nadir Kerri briefly detained and placed under judiciary control

On October 11, 2022 Algerian authorities arrested journalist Nadir Kerri, editor-in-chief of local independent news website Autojazair, specializing in automotive news in Algiers, after he responded to a summons for questioning, according to news reports, and a local journalist and press freedom advocate familiar with the case, Zaki Hannache, who spoke to CPJ via messaging app. 

On October 12, the investigative judge at the Algiers Sidi M’hamed court ordered Kerri’s release and placed him under judiciary control, meaning the investigative judge can summon him for questioning at any time until the conclusion of the trial, according to the same sources.

As of October 13, no official charges had been disclosed in Kerri’s case, Hannache told CPJ. 

Kerri’s summon came after the Ministry of Commerce filed a complaint against him regarding a Facebook post discussing local car news on his personal page, where he counts around 1,700 friends, according to news reports, and Hannache. The post appears to have been deleted. 

On September 8, authorities arrested journalist Belkacem Haouam after he was summoned for questioning regarding an article he published alleging that the Ministry of Commerce stopped the export of dates due to their high level of pesticides. The ministry denied changes to date exports in a statement

As of October 13, Haouam is still in pretrial detention in Al-Harach prison, outside the capital, Hannache told CPJ.

CPJ emailed the Algerian Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Commerce for comment but did not receive any response.