France reiterates commitment to press freedom regarding jail term of Algerian reporter

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Moscow, Sept. 17, 2020 (Sputnik/Naija247news) The French government has described the freedom and security of the press as fundamental rights across the world while speaking about Algerian reporter, Khaled Drareni.

Drareni was sentenced to prison for the coverage of protests.

He is an Algerian journalist, reporting for French TV channel TV5Monde and a representative of Reporters Without Borders (RFS) in Algeria.

The journalist was arrested on March 7 during a protest organised by the Hirak movement that called for changes in the country’s political system.

On Aug. 10, the authorities sentenced the reporter to three years’ imprisonment for “undermining national unity’’ by his coverage of the opposition movement’s actions.

Earlier in the week, the decision was reconsidered and Drareni was jailed for two years on appeal.

“We (France) are aware of this decision.

“France reaffirms its commitment to the freedom of the press and the security of journalists throughout the world.

“The freedom to inform is a fundamental right that must be protected,’’ the French Foreign Ministry said.

The RFS condemned the jailed’s decision to sentence Drareni, who has also been the subject of a major international solidarity campaign called #WeAreKhaled.

The Hirak opposition movement has been protesting since February 2019 against the candidature of the country’s former president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, to the next head of state post.

Bouteflika resigned in April 2019 due to the protests, also referred to as the Revolution of Smiles.

Since then, the Hirak movement has been calling for democracy in Algeria.

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