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Last Updated: Monday, 22 September, 2003, 12:11 GMT 13:11 UK
Algerian papers stop presses
Algerian street scene
A long-running war has led to many restrictions for Algerians
Eleven independent daily newspapers in Algeria have shut down for a day.

They are protesting at attacks on the freedom of expression, following the detention of several journalists accused of insulting Algeria's leader.

Newspapers say the authorities are trying to silence a critical press before next year's presidential polls.

"It is everyone's liberty that is at stake and not only those of journalists," said Farid Allilat, the director of Liberte newspaper.

Another of the newspapers involved, El Khabar, said the strike was planned because staff thought intimidation had worsened when six newspapers were suspended in August, and two editors were brought before the public prosecutor.

Some of the newspaper reports which have proved to be contentious are about allegations of financial corruption.

Several editors and journalists are awaiting charges after being detained in recent weeks after being accused of insulting President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

Algeria's second largest newspaper, Le Quotidien d'Oran, and the government-backed daily, El Moudjahid remain on the stands.

In July, all foreign correspondents were ordered to leave the country in the wake of the release of two key Islamist leaders.

Around 150,000 people have been killed in Algeria's brutal civil war which started in 1992, after the authorities cancelled a parliamentary election which Islamists were poised to win.

Algeria bars foreign press
03 Jul 03  |  Africa
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02 Jul 03  |  Africa
Algeria mulls Islamists' release
03 Jul 03  |  Africa
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26 Feb 03  |  Africa
Country profile: Algeria
24 May 03  |  Country profiles

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