In a five-minute video, Haddad acidly criticized the regime.“Mr. Bouteflika, good morning. I am Leila Haddad and I am speaking to you on my own behalf. Life taught me that daring is the shortest way to reach the truth, and the message I sent you last week was the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.”
She continued: “I had asked your brother Said to show compassion and to release you. A feeling tells me that you wish to withdraw and that you are waiting for a favorable moment.”
Slamming the Algerian regime, Haddad said that “reality is an intense darkness for Algerian people because of a group of criminals who became decision-makers after your illness,” referring to Bouteflika’s debilitating stroke in 2013.
In a similar video recorded at the European Parliament’s studio in Brussels earlier this month, Haddad described Bouteflika as a “heap of flesh.”
The former correspondent for the Algerian television channel ENTV also accused Bouteflika’s brother of “thinking that he is the only one who is entitled to dispose of him.”
“The dignity of an entire people is scorned (…) Algerians have become the laughing stock of the world. Their dignity has succumbed to their own humanity to form a mountain of shame,” she had said.
The Algerian embassy in Brussels denounced the statements, saying that the journalist was dismissed from Algerian television channel ENTV because of her “incivism” (lack of patriotism) and “bipolar behavior.”
The embassy also labeled Haddad as a “pseudo journalist” who “attacked the honor and dignity of the institutions of the Algerian Republic.”