Algeria cancels France 24 . operating license

The move was due to the satellite news channel’s “clear and repeated hostility towards our country and its institutions,” the ministry and government spokesman Ammar Belhimer said in quotes from Algeria’s state news agency APS.

Jowhar said in a statement that it was “surprised not to have received an explanation” for the move, stressing that “we bring Algerian news transparently, independently and honestly, as we do with all the countries we cover”.

The paper said authorities had issued a final warning to the channel on March 13, over “reporting of Friday marches” by long-running anti-government protest movement Hirak. The French government, which has tense relations with Algeria, did not immediately comment.

Both foreign and local journalists in Algeria often have to deal with bureaucratic and unclear procedures to obtain permission to work.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) ranked Algeria 146th out of 180 countries and territories in the World Press Freedom Index 2020, down 27 places from 2015.

The withdrawal of France 24’s accreditation came a day after the North African country held parliamentary elections, in which nearly 70 percent of voters abstained, according to official figures.

It also comes amid mounting official pressure on the Hirak and a series of arrests of journalists and opposition figures.

Although former Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika resigned in 2019 in the face of anti-regime protests, demonstrations continued demanding a overhaul of the ruling system since independence from France in 1962.

Authorities say the main demands of the movement have been met and accuse the remaining protesters of working against Algeria’s interests.

( Jowhar with AFP)

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