Jeune Afrique journalist Farid Alilat is seen in an interview.
Jeune Afrique journalist Farid Alilat is seen in an interview. Algerian police detained Alilat on April 12, 2024, and questioned him about his reporting. (Screenshot: France 24/YouTube)

CPJ condemns expulsion of journalist Farid Alilat on arrival at Algiers airport

New York, April 15, 2024—The Committee to Protect Journalists urges Algerian authorities to allow Farid Alilat, a journalist and Algerian citizen, to enter the country without fear of arrest, after he was denied entry at Algiers International Airport on Friday.

Algerian police detained Alilat on arrival from Paris and questioned him for 11 hours about his reporting for the privately owned Jeune Afrique news website, before sending him back without explanation to France, where he lives, according to news reports. Authorities also searched Alilat’s luggage, and confiscated his phone and laptop, those sources said.

“Denying France-based Algerian journalist Farid Alilat entry to his home country without explanation is simply cruel and a clear attack on media freedom,” said CPJ Program Director Carlos Martínez de la Serna from New York on Monday. “Algerian authorities must immediately reverse their decision and allow Alilat to visit his homeland without fear of getting arrested.”

Three journalists were imprisoned in Algeria when CPJ conducted its latest annual prison census on 1 December 1, 2023.

Journalists in Algeria have faced pretrial detention and judicial harassment, and authorities have revoked the press accreditations of many journalists and news outlets, CPJ has documented.

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