Algerian blogger Adel Azeb Chikh has been detained since October 2019 in relation to his coverage of a protest inside a government building. The journalist is accused of taking pictures without permission.
Chikh covers political events and protests on his Facebook page, which has over 57,300 followers, and his YouTube channel, with around 175 subscribers. The blogger is also a programs coordinator at the state-owned Radio El-Oued, according to news reports. Before working for the radio station, he was editor-in-chief of the weekly newspaper Al-Jadeed, an activist who is following the case and who asked not to be named for fear of retribution, told CPJ.
Chikh’s arrest is related to his coverage on Facebook of an October 8, 2019 protest over a lack of employment opportunities, which took place in the El-Oued’s state employment agency’s building, according to news reports.
On October 14, Chikh was summoned to appear before the penal chamber of El-Oued Court after the director of the state employment agency filed a complaint, according to news reports and the activist. News reports did not give the director’s name, and the state employment agency did not respond to CPJ’s messages requesting comment.
In the same case, the court charged at least three other people with invasion of privacy and obstruction of traffic of a state institution, insult and defamation, and taking pictures without authorization in relation to their social media posts about the protest, according to news reports.
Chikh is being held at a detention facility in El-Oued and is in good health, the activist, who spoke with Chikh at a hearing, told CPJ.