Pan-African Parliament Bamboozled by European Parliament’s Call for More Press Freedom in Algeria!


North African Caucus Chairperson in Pan-African Parliament. Algeria

The Pan-African Parliament has expressed concern over the European Parliament’s ‘urgency resolution’ condemning Algeria for alleged press freedom violations. On Thursday, European legislators supported an international support campaign also calling for the unconditional release of Algerian journalist and media owner Ihsane El-Kadi, who was charged with illegal fund-raising and endangering state security and public order.

European Parliament calls on Algeria to release journalist Ihsane El-Kadi and respect press freedom. Poster by RSF.ORG

In the latest breach of an agreement between the two continental parliaments, MEPs supported the resolution with a big majority voting against the African Union member state (536 votes for, 4 against, and 18 abstentions). The European Parliament proceeded to unilaterally condemn Algeria without prior consultation or communication with the African Parliament, noted a PAP communique disseminated on Friday afternoon.

This recent development comes after the two continental Parliaments agreed to consult each other on issues relating to the two continents before making any resolution or decision. This agreement was made in Brussels in December 2022, as a renewed PAP reengaged the EP.

The EP’s ‘urgency resolution’ is said to voice concern about the sharp decline in press freedom in Algeria since the start of the “Hirak” protests in 2019. In response, the African Parliament reaffirmed that the media in Algeria enjoys complete freedom since the country began its democratic process over three decades ago. “The existence of numerous daily newspapers and public and private television channels further confirms the existence of press freedom in Algeria”, said the communique.

The African Parliament has rejected any interference in the internal affairs of Algeria and any other African countries, emphasizing the need for mutual respect between nations. It further reiterated, according to the communique, the importance of consultation before making any resolution or decision.

The PAP’s statement serves as a reminder of the importance of respecting the sovereignty of nations and the need for collaboration between continental parliaments. It is hoped that such collaborations will continue to foster mutual respect and understanding among nations.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *