February 8, 2023

The French daily Le Monde confirmed on Tuesday that the Algerian regime continues its “flight forward” through the crackdown on press freedom as well as “unsuccessful authoritarian bidding.”

The newspaper wrote that the image of a handcuffed journalist is “terrifying” and the image of a media shutdown “shameful”, adding that with the arrest of Ihsan al-Qadi, director and founder of Radio M and Maghreb Emergent magazine, on December 24, as well as a raid and the closure of its offices: “The Algerian authorities were aware of the shock that such a police raid would cause, both inside and outside Algeria.”

Le Monde said that Ihsan al-Qadi, who was taken into custody on December 29, is “a symbol of independent Algerian journalism, as he and his team campaigned to cover the movement, the popular protest movement that emerged in Algeria in 2019. around democratic demands.

She pointed out that the tightening of repression under the pretext of anti-COVID measures in 2020 did not weaken the movement, one of the symbols of which was struck by the Algerian regime today.

The editorial added that the Algerian regime “does not appear to be very concerned about the damaging effect this arrest will have on its image.”

The writer wrote that “the admiration that accompanied the scene of the peaceful demonstrations of Hirak, which radically renewed the worldview of Algeria, is no longer something of a distant memory.”

He pointed out that “the attack against Ihsan al-Qadi’s media pole is only the latest episode in a systematic campaign against the movement’s remaining strongholds two years ago”, noting that “although many members of the movement were in exile to escape from prisons, today any critic of the ruling regime is subject to accusations.

The French daily added: “The atmosphere became so suffocating that Algerians concluded that pluralism of opinion was better during the reign of former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, despite the problems of corruption and nepotism in which he was involved”, noting that President Abdelmajid Regime Tebbuna “still feels confident enough to ignore the damage from his authoritarian escalation.”

The editorialist pointed out that “At home, President Tebbun believes he can buy social peace with a recovery in oil prices in a tried and true but unsustainable scenario. As far as abroad, he is counting on the restoration of a strategic loan to Algeria, the hydrocarbon giant courted by Europeans in search of an alternative to Russian gas.

Le Monde concluded by saying: “Everyone must be fully aware of the predicament in which the Algerian regime has placed itself. It is an illusion to want to strengthen the rear, as the regime says, by suppressing citizenship, the main component of any nation.”

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