Ihsane El Kadi Ihsane El Kadi

Algeria: Unfairly jailed journalist, Ihsane El Kadi’s appeal denied

On October 12, 2023, the Algerian Supreme Court denied two appeals from Ihsane El Kadi’s lawyers, confirming his seven-year sentence. This sentence comprises five years in prison and two years on probation. Ihsane El Kadi has been in prison since December 24, 2022, due to his journalistic writing. It is crucial for authorities to promptly release Ihsane El Kadi from El Harrach prison, potentially through a presidential pardon.

Here’s what you can do:

Write to the Algerian President urging him to:

  • Grant Ihsane El Kadi a presidential pardon.
  • End the targeted crackdown and censorship of independent media and journalists in Algeria through vaguely worded articles of the Penal Code which are used to violate the right to freedom of expression.

Write to:

President of the Republic of Algeria

Abdelmadjid Tebboune

Présidence de la République

Place Mohammed Seddik Benyahiya, El Mouradia,

Alger 16000 Algérie

Email: President@el-mouradia.dz

Salutation: Your Excellency:

And copy:

Mr. Mokhtar ALLOUNE

Counsellor & Chargé d’affaires, a.i.

Embassy of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria

500 Wilbrod Street

Ottawa, ON K1N 6N2

Tel: (613) 789-8505; -0282 Fax: (613) 789-1406

Email: info@embassyalgeria.ca


Ihsane El Kadi, a journalist and the director/founder of “Interface Media” (including Radio M and Maghreb Emergent), openly criticized Algerian authorities through his articles. In response, authorities harassed him and blocked the websites of Radio M and Maghreb Emergent in Algeria in 2020.

Since 2021, security services repeatedly summoned him to the Antar security center in Algiers for questioning. On December 24, 2022, plainclothes security officials arrested El Kadi at his Zemmouri home, 40km east of Algiers. They took him to the offices of his media outlets, confiscated materials, and sealed the doors without explaining the allegations. Held for five days, El Kadi was interrogated about his publications.

Arbitrary Arrest and Detention

On December 29, 2022, an investigative judge ordered his detention at El Harrach prison on various charges. His pretrial detention was renewed on January 15, 2023, violating fair trial rights.

In 2022, El Kadi faced prosecution for contact with human rights defenders. Although charges were dropped, he received a six-month prison sentence in June 2022 for an article. On April 2, 2023, he was convicted to five years in prison, fined, and his media company dissolved. The sentence increased to seven years on appeal.

International Concerns Over Fair Trial Standards in Algeria

UN Special Rapporteurs expressed concerns about El Kadi’s arrest, fair trial standards, and misuse of security measures by Algerian authorities. The Algerian mission to the UN responded, asserting El Kadi’s rights were respected.

El Kadi’s recent sentencing reflects growing repression in Algeria. Over the past two years, numerous journalists, bloggers, human rights defenders, and activists have faced harassment, intimidation, and arbitrary detention for exercising their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.