Thursday 26 May 2022
- Advertisement -

Detained journalist Mohamed Tamalt dies in Algeria

Join Sirf News on

and/or

Algeria: Mohamed Tamalt, a journalist imprisoned in Algeria for insulting President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, died in hospital while serving his sentence. His lawyer on Sunday announced his death.

Tamalt, 42, lived in England, basing himself in London, and had UK-Algerian dual citizenship. He was arrested on June 27 near his parents’ Algiers home after writing a poem on Facebook. Human Rights Watch said he began a hunger immediately. On June 11 he was fined 200,000 dinars (£1,400; US$1,800) and imprisoned for two years. This was upheld on appeal.

Tamalt fell into a coma which his lawyer, Amine Sidhoum, said lasted three months. He was undergoing in Bab el-Oued hospital. Human Rights Watch had asked Algeria to release him when reportedly in critical condition in August.

Reporters Without Borders called Tamalt’s death a shocking blow to Algerian free speechAmnesty International have sought an “independent and transparent investigation into the circumstances” of Tamalt’s death.

Why was there such a conviction just for words on Facebook which did no harm to anyone? – Yasmine Kacha, Reporters Without Borders

Tamalt was convicted of insulting President Bouteflika and defaming a public organisation, both breaches of the national Penal Code. Sidhoum told al-Jazeera the occasion marked “the first time since Algeria gained its independence from France that a journalist died in jail because of what he wrote on the Internet.” He also said he was “really sad at the lack of support from his fellow Algerian journalists, who left him and abandoned him.”

Sidhoum said Tamalt’s funeral was scheduled for Monday. Afterwards, “we, his family and lawyers, will figure out in the following days what we can do to find out exactly what happened to him in prison.” His family have alleged he was mistreated in prison and denied visits. Justice Minister Tayeb Louh in October promised investigations would uncover any wrongdoing by authorities.

The prison service said Tamalt was found to be suffering pneumonia, beginning on December 4. It said this killed him. Amnesty spokesperson Brahim Mahdid in remarks to al-Jazeera said “we can’t say for sure what the cause of his death was[…] Nor are we sure if Tamalt received the proper treatment during his hunger strike.” Mahdid said local were “facing increasing pressure” and “a hostile environment.”

From Wikinews under Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence

Contribute to our cause

Contribute to the nation's cause

Sirf News needs to recruit journalists in large numbers to increase the volume of its reports and articles to at least 100 a day, which will make us mainstream, which is necessary to challenge the anti-India discourse by established media houses. Besides there are monthly liabilities like the subscription fees of news agencies, the cost of a dedicated server, office maintenance, marketing expenses, etc. Donation is our only source of income. Please serve the cause of the nation by donating generously.

Join Sirf News on

and/or

Similar Articles

Comments

Scan to donate

Swadharma QR Code
Advertisment
Sirf News Facebook Page QR Code
Facebook page of Sirf News: Scan to like and follow

Most Popular

[prisna-google-website-translator]
%d bloggers like this: