Protest-hit Algeria expels a Reuters correspondent

Police officers try to prevent protesters from advancing towards the government building during Friday’s protest. (Reuters)

Algerian authorities on Sunday expelled a Reuters journalist who had been covering anti-government protests in the North African country a day after arresting him, his employer and relatives said.

Algerian police questioned Tunisian journalist Tarek Amara before deciding to expel him, relatives said.

A spokesperson for Reuters confirmed that Amara was put on a plane headed for Tunis where he is based.

“I can now confirm that Tarek was detained by Algerian authorities and has been expelled today,” the spokesperson said in an email to AFP.

“We are concerned by the Algerian authorities’ treatment of... Tarek Amara and are seeking further information on the matter. Tarek’s reporting on the protests in Algiers was fair and balanced, and we stand by our story,” the spokesperson added.

Amara had been covering the protests in Algeria for the past few days and had been given temporary accreditation from Algerian authorities to carry out his work, the spokesperson said.

There was no immediate reaction from Algerian authorities concerning his expulsion.

His arrest came a day after Algerians thronged the streets of Algiers and other cities for the sixth-consecutive Friday demanding that ailing President Abdelaziz Bouteflika step down and urging a change in the country’s political establishment.

The Directorate General for National Security (DGSN) denied “figures given by local or foreign media on the number of participants at the march in the capital,” without naming Reuters specifically.

Reuters reported a figure of one million in Algiers on Friday, but then gave the denial by the DGSN.

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