Algeria’s Information Ministry has denied censoring two daily newspapers amid growing concerns of state interference in the country’s media.
Officials denied blocking publication of Algeria’s Arab-language Jaridaty and French-language Mon Journal papers, claiming their editor Hisham Aboud has personally abandoned publication after being reprimanded for allegedly disrespecting Article 92 of media legislation.
“It’s not about censorship,” a ministry official claimed.
Aboud had instead been guilty of making “tendentious statements that effect state security, national unity and stability.”
Article 92 states that a journalist must “respect state emblems and symbols,” ensuring “objective” coverage and correcting errors in copy.
Both newspapers were reportedly censored after publishing “false information” about the health of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who is currently in a French military hospital recovering from a stroke.
Reports were “completely wrong,” ministry officials claimed, and had had a deleterious effect on “national and international public opinion.”