Senior United Nations official Clément Nyaletsossi Voule has called on Algerian authorities to release Khaled Drareni.
The journalist has been jailed for two years over his coverage of the country’s pro-democracy movement The Hirak. An arrest for which the legal basis remains questionnable.
“We cannot see a legal basis under which we could arrested him. He has been arrested whilst doing this coverage. And for us it is not acceptable because we do need information. We cannot deprive people from it, declared the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Rights to Peaceful Assembly and Association. _According to the information we have He was not committing any crime, he was just doing the job his journalist status impose him to do, _Voule stresses.”
40-year old Drareni was arrested in late March on charges of “inciting an unarmed gathering” and “endangering national unity”. after covering demonstrations by the “Hirak” protest movement.
An arrest that has been deemed as a threat to press freedom in the country.
“Through Mr Drareni’s arrest it’s the whole journalist community and protesters, who are fearing for their lives. And at the same time Algeria is a State, which considers itself, at the international level, entering into a democratic system, a democratic governance, alerts Clément Nyaletsossi Voule.
Since his arrest supporters have campaigned in the streets of capital city Alger, in the hope that the wave of arrests finally come to an end.