Algeria revokes France 24 operating license. State media |: Middle East News

The government claimed that the point of sale was “clearly hostile” to Algeria and its institutions.

Algeria has revoked the accreditation of France 24, the communications ministry said on Sunday, a day after parliamentary elections in the former French colony.

The move was prompted by the satellite news channel’s “clear, recurring hostility towards our country and its institutions,” the ministry and government spokesman Ammar Bellheimer were quoted as saying by the state news agency APS.

Bellheimer also accused France 24 of violating journalistic rules and ethics, saying that “the hostility against Algeria is being manipulated in addition to misinformation.”

According to the media, the authorities issued a final warning to the channel on March 13 regarding the “coverage of Friday rallies” by the “Hirak” anti-government protest movement.

In a statement issued on Sunday, the public broadcaster said it was “surprised that no explanation was given” for the move, stressing that “we cover Algerian news in a transparent, independent and honest manner”.

The French government, which has strained ties with Algeria, did not immediately comment.

In Algeria, both foreign and local journalists often face bureaucratic and vague procedures for obtaining work permits.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) Algeria ranks Algeria 146th out of 180 countries in its 2020 World Press Freedom Index, down 27 places from 2015.

The re-accreditation of France 24 took place a day after the North African country held legislative elections, according to which, according to official data, almost 70% of voters abstained.

It comes against the background of official pressure on Hirak, arrests of journalists and opposition figures.

Among the seven arrested on Thursday were independent journalist Khaled Draren and pro-reform radio station director Ihsane El-Qadi.

Although former Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika resigned in 2019 amid anti-government protests, protests continue to demand a change in the ruling system since France’s independence in 1962.

Authorities say the movement’s basic demands have been met, with other protesters accusing it of working against Algerian interests.

The Hirak movement returned to the streets after a break of almost a year in February due to the coronavirus epidemic that survived the arrest campaign, the presidential election, and the constitutional referendum, which was partly aimed at burying.

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