Friday, April 22, 2011

Algeria Urged to Relax Press Controls

Abdelaziz Bouteflika, president of Algeria, in...Image via WikipediaThe Jurist Website (htttp:// reports that Frank LaRue, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of opinion and expression, has challenged Algeria's President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to make good on his declared initiative for constitutional and political reforms by taking the government's thumb off of the nation's news media.

Among the changes LaRue wants to see  are the decriminalization of defamation, the removal of government control over Algeria's television and radio stations, and restructuring current laws so that the right to peaceful assembly would be encouraged, rather than oppressed.  Algeria has been under a state of emergency since 1992, when the military halted elections to prevent religious fundamentalists from assuming power.
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