A fixer and stringer for such international media outlets as the BBC and Washington Post, Chitour was arrested by intelligence agents at Algiers international airport on 5 June 2017.
He is charged under article 65 of the criminal code with “complicit relations with a foreign power,” but his lawyers insist that there is nothing in the prosecution’s case file to support the charge. His family meanwhile says his physical condition is worsening steadily.
“We are very concerned for Saïd Chitour and we fear he could suffer the same fate as Mohamed Tamalt, an Algerian journalist who died in prison in December 2016,” said Souhaib Khayati, the head of RSF’s North Africa desk. “We urge the authorities to free him and to end this senseless ordeal.”
Algeria is ranked 136th out of 180 countries in RSF's 2018 World Press Freedom Index.