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Prominent Algeria journalist detained

By AFP - Dec 29,2022 - Last updated at Dec 29,2022

ALGIERS — A prominent Algerian journalist was remanded in custody under a state security law, news outlets he directs reported on Thursday.

"Journalist Ihsane El Kadi, who was arrested on Friday night... has been placed in pretrial detention" by an investigating judge in Algiers, news website Maghreb Emergent said.

It added that he was being detained under a law relating to receiving "funds, donations or advantages... for carrying out or inciting acts" that threaten state security or "national unity".

El Kadi could face up to seven years in prison.

Radio M, which he also runs, said El Kadi had appeared before the investigating judge "without his lawyers, who were not notified".

The day after his detention, the police sealed off the headquarters of Interface Media — which runs both outlets — and seized documents, it reported.

El Kadi was sentenced in June to six months in prison after a former information minister lodged a complaint against him over a Radio M article about Rachad, an Islamist organisation Algeria labels a "terrorist" group.

The sentence was confirmed on appeal but the court did not order El Kadi’s detention.

The authorities’ moves against El Kadi and his outlets have prompted an outpouring of solidarity among journalists and rights defenders in Algeria and beyond, with some 800 people signing a petition for his release.

Algeria ranks 134 out of 180 countries in watchdog Reporters Without Borders ‘s press freedom index.

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