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Journalist Ihsane El Kadi receives a five-year term

Ihsane El Kadi, an Algerian journalist, received a five-year term.

El Kadi must spend three years in jail to complete his sentence. His media organization was shut down and penalized severely.

According to AFP, prominent Algerian journalist Ihsane El Kadi was found guilty of “foreign financing of his business” and was given a three-year prison sentence by the Sidi M’Hamed court in Algiers.

El Kadi was given a sentence of five years, of which he must serve three in prison, the court decided on Sunday. El Kadi is a government critic and the owner of one of the few independent media organizations in the nation. Also, the court decided that Interface Media, which owns Maghreb Emergent and broadcasts Radio M, should be shut down. The court assessed fines of 11.7 million Algerian dinars ($86,200) on the business and El Kadi personally.

According to the news website he runs, Maghreb Emergent, the journalist was originally detained on December 24 and has been held since since under a state security law that forbids the receipt of funds that endanger national unity or state security.

As the journalist was taken into custody, Interface Media’s offices were blocked off and its records were taken.

One of El Kadi’s attorneys, Abdelghani Badi, who skipped the session, told AFP, “We are going to appeal this judgment within the proper term.” The foreign funding allegations had been rejected by El Kadi’s defense team, who noted that the only foreign transfer to his company had come from his daughter, who lives in the United Kingdom, who sent 25,000 British pounds ($31,000) to the business in which she is a partner.

Human rights organizations like Amnesty International and organizations fighting for the freedom of journalists like Reporters Without Borders and the Committee to Protect Journalists have denounced El Kadi’s detention (CPJ).

There were thousands of individuals who signed a petition asking for his release.

Sherif Mansour, the program coordinator for CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa region, had termed El Kadi’s detention in December an insult to Algeria’s independent press and urged authorities to “stop their harassment of the press.” “Algerian authorities are attacking some of the few independent voices in the nation by detaining journalist Ihsane El Kadi and closing down Radio M and Maghreb Emergent,” Mansour claimed.

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