Parliamentary members of Algeria have passed a law criminalising the broadcast of “fake news”. Especially fake news that is deemed harmful to public order and state security.
However, this law is being opposed by protesters and rights activists.
The law is part of reforms to the penal code. It was tabled before the parliament, debated and then approved in a morning session on Wednesday, 22nd April 2020.
According to the state Tv, thw new law penalises broadcast of fake news that seeks to undermine public security, state security and national unity.
The move comes after Algeria’s anti-establishment protest movement suspended its street rallies last month.
The rally was suspended in a voluntary bid to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Additionally, the bill also came amid increasing repression of opposition and media in the country during recent months.
Meanwhile, protesters started staging weekly demonstrations in February 2019.
This was after the ruling National Liberation Front announced that Abdelaziz Bouteflika would seek a fifth term in the office.
Abdelaziz Bouteflika was Algeria’s longest-serving president, who has been in wheel chair after after suffering a stroke.