Algeria Journalist free after six months in jail

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Algerian journalist, Rabah Kareche has left the prison after completing a six-month sentence for “spreading false news”, his newspaper Liberte said.

“Our reporter Rabah Kareche is free again after six months behind bars in Tamanrasset prison” in the country’s desert south, it reported on its website.

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An appeals court had sentenced Kareche on October 11 to six months in prison plus six months suspended, a two-month reduction from his original sentence.

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His release came as he had already served much of sentence during his trial and appeal.

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Kareche was arrested in April after reporting the Tuareg, a Berber minority who have long complained of economic and social marginalisation, had protested over “expropriation” of their historical lands.

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He was sentenced on August 12 to eight months behind bars plus four months suspended for “spreading false information liable to damage public order”.

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He was also accused of posting reports that could trigger “segregation and hatred within society”.

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“I’m the victim of a grave injustice,” Liberte quoted him saying as he left prison.

“I did nothing more than my job as a journalist with professionalism.”

Algeria ranks a lowly 146th out of 180 countries on the Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Index.

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