4 July 1996


"La Tribune" cartoonist arrested; restrictions placed on managing director and managing editor (f) ; paper's offices sealed

Chawki Amari, the political cartoonist of the privately-owned
daily "La Tribune", was arrested in his home on the morning of 4
July 1996. His arrest stems from a satirical cartoon depicting the
Algerian flag which appeared in the 1st July edition of the daily.
The Algiers tribunal examining judge called the cartoon an "insult
to the national emblem" ("offense a l'embleme nationale").
Authorities sealed the paper's offices, and placed legal
restrictions on managing director Khaireddine Ameyar and managing
editor Baya Gacemi (f) pending trial. These actions constitute a
de facto ban on "La Tribune". The three journalists are being
prosecuted under an article of the penal code which provides for
prison terms of five to ten years for desecrating the national
emblem ("[pour] quiconque dechire, deteriore ou profane
volontairement et publiquement l'embleme nationale".)

Recommended Action

Send appeals to Algerian authorities:

  • urging that they do everything in their power to secure the
    immediate release of Chawki Amari, to lift the restrictions placed
    on Khaireddine Ameyar and Baya Gacemi, and to allow "La Tribune"
    to resume publishing as soon as possible

    Appeals To

    His Excellency Liamine Zeroual
    President of the High Council of State
    El Mouradia Presidential Palace
    Algiers, Algeria
    Fax: +213 2 60 96 18

    Minister of Communications
    Ministry of Communications
    Algiers, Algeria
    Fax: +213 2 68 44 59

    Please copy appeals to the originator if possible.

  • Source

    Reporters Without Borders
    47, rue Vivienne
    75002 Paris
    rsf (@) rsf.org
    Phone: +33 1 44 83 84 84
    Fax: +33 1 45 23 11 51
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