Rabat- Two Journalists for the Moroccan TV channel 2M were arrested on Wednesday and had their equipment confiscated before they were released by the authorities in Algeria.
Two days earlier, Amnesty International Algeria of silencing critics and curbing freedom of expression, in particular press freedom in the presidential elections. It seems that the curbing the freedom of press in Algeria has become a broader suppression of media, as the Algerian authorities prevented Moroccan journalists from covering the presidential elections.
According to H24 Info, the cameraman and the correspondent from 2M in Oujda were arrested on Wednesday morning in the Houari Boumediene airport. The authorities released them after the journalists had their equipment confiscated until they could get accreditation.
2M’s journalists immediately went to see an official in the Algerian ministry of Communication to solve the accreditation problem.
According to the same source, after several hours of waiting, the minister explained to the journalists that they could cover the presidential elections after they got the accreditation from the Algerian embassy in Rabat.
The journalists tried to object to the official’s decision, explaining that it meant going back to Morocco without covering the elections that were going be held on Thursday, April 17th. Yet the minister refused to change his decision, saying “I explained what the law says.”
On the other hand, deputy director of 2M Samira Sitail said that the journalists followed all the procedures on time in order to obtain their accreditation from the Algerian embassy in Morocco. “But they did not get any response,” said Sitail.
According to H24 Info the TV channel’s demands to obtain accreditation from the Algerian embassy in Rabat to cover the presidential elections in Algeria “were denied without explanation.”
The same source added that Algeria promised the TV officials they would approve their journalists’ accreditations when they arrived at the Algerian airport.
Yet the Moroccan journalists did not find their accreditation waiting for them in the Algerian airport; instead, they found the policemen waiting to confiscate their cameras and send them back to Morocco without covering the presidential elections.
Edited by Jessica Rohan