The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its Algerian affiliate, the National Union of Journalists (SNJ), expressed their concerns about the recent violations against freedom of press committed in Algeria. Troubles began after a journalist was sentenced to prison and another one had his accreditation arbitrarily withdrawn.
On 24 February 2015, Mohammed Chergui, chief editor of the daily El-Djamhouria (the Republic) - a newspaper published in Arabic and established in Oran - was sentenced to three years of imprisonment and to a 200 000 DA (2 000 euros) fine for "infringement of the prophet Mohammed". The case started in 2014, after the release of an article into which one wrong sentence had crept, but also had the chief editor fired and sued by his own managers. Furthemore, the journalist's trial would have contained several defects in form.
"We are shocked by this unfair decision which is the result of a obscure and botched trial", declared Jim Boumelha, President of the International Federation of Journalists. He added : "It's even more revolting that this decision is the result of a complaint lodged by the management of a press outlet against his own journalist. We urge the Algerian authorities to review this case and to abandon all charges against Mohammed Chergui."
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The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 134 countries