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Authorities harass "El Watan" editor Omar Belhouchet

(RSF/IFEX) - On 21 March, 2009, Reporters Without Borders wrote to Justice Minister Tayeb Belaiz and Minister of Postal Services, Information and Communication Technologies Hamid Bessalah, expressing incomprehension at the harassment of Omar Belhouchet, editor of the daily newspaper "El Watan." Belhouchet has been summoned 14 times by the judicial police in recent days for questioning about allegations of defamation.

Defamation is not a police matter. Rather, allegations of defamation should be handled by the courts. Belhouchet's repeated interrogation by the police appears to be an attempt to intimidate him. This is of particular concern as it comes at the launch of the presidential election campaign.

RSF urges the Algerian authorities to put a stop to this kind of harassment.

Updates the Belhouchet case:

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سوف يدعى آخر الشهود في قضية الشاعرة الفلسطينية #طاطور للإدلاء بشهادتهم اليوم. لقد مضى حوالي عام ونصف منذ اعتقالها…