Watchdog says Algerian journalist jailed 100 days 'too many'

2017-09-13 18:45

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Algiers - Press freedom watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has denounced Algeria's arrest since June of a freelance journalist and fixer as "100 days too many" and demanded his release.

Said Chitour, who has worked for the BBC and the Washington Post among others, has been held without trial since intelligence services arrested him at Algiers airport on June 5, RSF said.

"The request for his release that his lawyer filed at the end of July has been rejected. No trial date has so far been set," the watchdog said in a statement on Tuesday.

"One hundred days of provisional detention are 100 days too many, 100 days of incomprehension and injustice, because there are no grounds for keeping Said Chitour in prison," it said.

RSF said it was "appalled" by his continued detention in the Algerian capital's El Harrach prison.

"When provisional detention is extended without any reason and without a trial date, the detention becomes arbitrary and the principle of the presumption of innocence is flouted. We call for Chitour's immediate release," it said.

Defence lawyer Khaled Bourayou said Chitour, who is suspected of passing confidential documents to foreign diplomats, was to face a final interrogation before being referred to "probably a criminal court".

RSF said Chitour was being held under Article 65 of the penal code, which provides for "life imprisonment for anyone who, with the intention of passing them to a foreign power, gathers intelligence, objects, documents or processes whose compilation and use are liable to harm the nation's defence or economy".

His lawyer told AFP no confidential document traded hands and he expected Chitour to be exonerated.

The US-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said in July that Chitour's arrest "appears to be an attempt to keep information about Algeria out of the international press".

RSF, which ranks Algeria 134rd out of 180 countries on its press freedom index, charged in June that the North African country used "harassment" and "threats" to pressure journalists.

Read more on:    algeria  |  north africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/Africa
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.