The government claimed that the media had shown “clear and repeated hostility” towards Algeria and its institutions.
Algeria canceled the accreditation of France 24, announced Sunday the Ministry of Communication, the day after the legislative elections in the former French colony.
This decision was due to “the clear and repeated hostility of the satellite news channel towards our country and its institutions,” the ministry and government spokesman Ammar Belhimer said in quotes relayed by the agency. APS State Press.
Belhimer also accused France 24 of not respecting journalistic rules and ethics, saying that it “practices disinformation and manipulation in addition to a proven hostility against Algeria”.
The outlet said authorities gave the channel a final warning on March 13 over its “Friday March coverage” of the long-standing Hirak anti-government protest movement.
In a statement released on Sunday, the public service broadcasting said it was “surprised not to have received any explanation” for this decision, stressing that “we cover Algerian news in a transparent, independent and honest manner”.
The French government, which has strained ties with Algiers, did not immediately comment.
Foreign and local journalists in Algeria often face bureaucratic and unclear procedures for obtaining permission to work.
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) ranked Algeria 146th out of 180 countries and territories in its 2020 World Press Freedom Index, a drop of 27 places compared to 2015.
France 24’s withdrawal of accreditation came a day after the North African country held parliamentary elections, with nearly 70 percent of voters abstaining according to official figures.
It also comes amid increasing official pressure against the Hirak and a series of arrests of journalists and opposition figures.
Freelance journalist Khaled Drareni and the director of a pro-reform radio station, Ihsane El-Kadi were among seven people arrested on Thursday.
Although former Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika resigned in 2019 in the face of anti-regime protests, protests continued, demanding an overhaul of the system in power since independence from France in 1962.
Authorities say the movement’s main demands have been met and accuse the remaining protesters of working against Algerian interests.
The Hirak movement returned to the streets in February after a hiatus of almost a year due to the coronavirus pandemic, having also survived a campaign of arrests, a presidential election and a constitutional referendum aimed in part at the bury.