Being an Algerian citizen would no longer be a sufficient condition to freely enter Algeria? Farid Alilat, journalist working for the magazine Jeune Afrique, claims to have been held by security services for eleven hours at Houari-Boumediene international airport in Algiers, before being sent back to Paris on Saturday April 13. An expulsion “without any verbal or written justification”, testifies on his Facebook page the Algerian journalist, who has resided in France since 2004, where he has a residence permit.

Although Jeune Afrique is not very popular with the Algerian authorities due to its alleged Moroccan tropism, Farid Alilat had until then been able to travel without hindrance between France and his country of origin. “During 2023, I went to Algeria three times as part of my work,” he says. I have never been the subject of the slightest questioning from any authority. My last stay was from December 15 to 24, 2023. Again, I entered and left the territory without the slightest problem. »

This freedom of movement is theoretically ensured by the Algerian Constitution. According to article 55, “every citizen enjoying his civil and political rights has the right to freely choose the place of his residence and to move within the national territory. The right of entry and exit from the national territory is guaranteed. Any restriction on these rights can only be ordered for a specific period, by a reasoned decision of the judicial authority.

At Algiers airport, Farid Alilat said he was questioned about his writings, the editorial line of his newspaper, his contacts and his meetings abroad. His two phones and computer were also reportedly searched.


Farid Alilat published an article at the end of March on the assassination in Frankfurt in 1970 of Krim Belkacem, historic leader of the National Liberation Front (FLN) and negotiator of the Evian Accords. The journalist, who said he had an exemption to access the German archives, provided the names of two of the three alleged killers: Hamid Aït Mesbah, an Algerian military security officer, and Mohamed Ouslimani, a senior Algerian state official, who would have traveled under the pseudonym Mohamed Debaï.

Nothing says that it was this investigation that caused him to be expelled. The Algerian authorities did not react to the journalist’s article. But this unprecedented treatment inflicted on an Algerian citizen, if confirmed, is for many observers a sign of abnormal feverishness within the regime on the eve of the presidential election, the date of which has been brought forward without justification. nor explanation as of September 7 (instead of December). “We knew about anti-press phobia and the attacks become more virulent when this thing called “elections” appears on the horizon… But here, it’s breaking new ground, in a worrying way! », Reacted former journalist Malika Abdelaziz on Facebook.

At this stage, nothing seems to prevent the reappointment of President Abdelmadjid Tebboune for a second term. Apart from the lawyer Zoubida Assoul, president of the Union for Change and Progress (UCP) and Hirak figure, the candidates are not jostling each other.

The only alert for the outgoing head of state came from Soufiane Djilali, president of the Jil Jadid (“new generation”) party, who suggested to him, in an interview published by the TSA site, that he would have “everything to gain to give up the second term,” adding: “He still has time to think and listen to those who speak frankly to him and not succumb to flatterers. He could complete the transition by sponsoring an exciting presidential election. »