Algerian journalist sentenced 2yrs imprisonment on appeal

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Algiers, Sept. 15, 2020 (dpa/Naija247news) An Algerian appeal court sentenced journalist Khaled Drareni to two years in prison on Tuesday on charges of endangering national security.

Media campaign group Reporters Without Borders (RSF) strongly condemned the verdict.

“We are outraged by the blind stubbornness of the Algerian judges” for sentencing Drareni to 2 years in prison on appeal, Christophe Deloire, RSF’s secretary general, wrote on Twitter after the verdict.

Drareni is the editor of a news website called Casbah Tribune and a correspondent of TV5 Monde and RSF.

“Khaled’s detention proves the regime locks itself into a logic of absurd, unfair and violent repression,” Deloire added.

In August, Drareni was sentenced to three years in prison after he was charged with “endangering national unity” and “inciting an unarmed gathering” after covering anti-government protests in Algeria.

Prosecutors demanded the maximum four-year imprisonment penalty.

Tuesday’s sentence also includes a 1,600-dollar fine.

He was arrested alongside other activists in March during a protest in the capital Algiers.

Unprecedented protests erupted early in 2019 leading to the resignation of Abdelaziz Bouteflika after two decades as president.

Abdelmadjid Tebboune took office as president in December following new elections.

Protests continued afterwards for a few months, though coronavirus lockdowns made it harder for activists to mobilize for further demonstrations.

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