In Algeria, TrialWatch is documenting the authorities’ criminalization of speech as part of a broader crackdown on government criticism.
Ahmed Manseri is a human rights activist and blogger. After he was allegedly assaulted by police, Mr. Manseri was charged with criminal defamation for bringing this police misconduct to light. While Mr. Manseri was ultimately acquitted, the proceedings against him were marred by several violations, including that he was not informed of the facts supporting the allegation against him. The TrialWatch Fairness Report on the case gave the trial a grade of ‘D,’ noting that “the judicial harassment he experienced through the proceedings and the threat of further such action led him to temporarily flee the country, a significant harm.”
Said Boudour is a human rights defender and journalist who has reported on corruption and the mistreatment of migrants by Algerian authorities. He was charged with defamation and “insulting public servants” for Facebook posts that were critical of several government officials. For instance, one Facebook post labeled two officials as “[t]he muzzle of journalism.” Boudour denied writing most of the posts, saying that his account had been hacked. He was also charged with attempted blackmail based on an allegation that he had threatened to release documents that would expose allegedly corrupt practices.
Ahmed Manseri was charged with criminal defamation after filing a complaint against the head of the Tiaret police for assault. The alleged assault occurred in mid-2016, when Mr. Manseri was detained by the police in apparent retaliation for his work as a human rights activist.See the Fairness Report