Detained Since: March 7, 2020.
Charges: “Inciting an unarmed gathering” and “endangering national unity.” under articles 100 and 96 of the penal code.
Biography: Khaled Drareni is a journalist and correspondent for TV5Monde in Algeria, editor of the Casbah Tribune website, and represents Reporters Without Borders (RSF) in Algeria. He has covered the Hirak protests and has exposed the government’s crackdown on freedom of speech and assembly in Algeria through his work. He has criticized the authorities’ manner of handling the Hirak protests, calling it “cosmetic.”
On March 7, 2020, Khaled Drareni was arrested by Algerian security forces while covering a protest of the Hirak movement, which has called for radical political change in Algeria since February 2019 after President Buteflika announced he would run for a fifth term. Drareni was released three days later on March 10th, placed under judicial supervision, and then arrested again on March 27th at his house in Algiers. He was then held in a police station for two nights before being moved to Kolea prison, outside of the capital. On August 4, a court in Algiers sentenced him to three years in prison on charges of “inciting an unarmed gathering” and “endangering national unity.”
Under article 50 of the Algerian constitution, a journalist may not have criminal charges brought against them in relation to their work. Therefore, the charges and imprisonment of Khaled Drareni are not only an abuse against the press, but also unconstitutional.
Khaled Drareni was granted a presidential pardon and was released on February 19, 2021.
Advocacy Partner: Reporters Without Borders
- TLHRC Co-Chairs sent a letter to the Algerian Ambassador expressing their concerns for press freedom and urging the release of Khaled Drareni
- A banner advocating for Khaled Drareni's release was draped over a building in Paris, France, and featured in the Straits Times Today in Pictures on Oct. 16, 2020.
- The European Parliament passed a resolution calling on Algerian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Khaled Drareni (November 25, 2020, European Parliament)