This July 11, in an article titled “The prisoner Benhalima reveals the close links between the terrorist Boukhors and the Moroccan Makhzen”, the Official Agency Algeria Press Service (APS) is relaying alleged “confessions” by former Algerian army corporal Mohamed Benhalima, broadcast the same evening on the Algerian national channel.
This 32-year-old former officer, who moved to Europe after his participation in Hirak in 2019, made himself known through videos in which he denounced several scandals linked to Algerian power. Sentenced in absentia, in March 2021, to 10 years in prison for “publication of false information”, he had been arrested in Spain and then extradited with Algeria.
He is also accused by Algiers to belong to the Islamist movement Rachad, considered terrorist in Algeria. His extradition had aroused the indignation of Amnesty International, which had called on Madrid to immediately abandon his expulsion. In vain.
The NGO’s fears of ill-treatment were not exaggerated, since the man who is now detained in Algeria is the subject of a national television series featuring his “confessions”, according to methods inherited from a another time.
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Since the election of President Abdelmadjid Tebboune in December 2019, a real leaden screed has fallen on Algeria, any challenge or criticism of power being assimilated to a “conspiracy” by authorities who have made paranoia a mode of governance.
In this context, the “confessions” of Corporal Benhalima are at least subject to caution. Our journalists therefore read with a distracted eye the report of these confessions by theAPS. Before coming across a mention of our media.
“(Benhalima) also revealed the relationship that the terrorist Amir Boukhors maintains with a Moroccan journalist named Ahmed Gharabi, working for the newspaper “Capcov” and author of an article about him in January 2021, in addition to relations he has with influential parties (sic) in France, through his Jewish lawyer who, according to Benhalima, asked him to pay 10,000 euros to facilitate the obtaining of political asylum in France”, can one as well read on the Agency of presse official.
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The one that theAPS depicted as a “terrorist”, Amir Boukhors, is none other than “Amir DZ”. Based in France, Amir DZ, 38, is very active on social networks where he publishes supposedly compromising videos and information against Algerian leaders and personalities.
In 2018, he was sentenced in Algeria to three years in prison for “extortion”, “blackmail”, “threats” and “defamation through social networks”. In 2019, he was heard by French justice on the basis of seven arrest warrants issued by an Algerian judge before being released.
Characterized fake news
L’APS does not fear ridicule by disseminating what must be called characterized fake news. Amir DZ is not in contact with any of our journalists and no Moroccan journalist named Ahmed Gharabi has worked for our media. All it takes is a search on Google to be convinced. A task clearly beyond the reach of journalists from theAPS.
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Similarly, a short search would have enabled our colleagues to see that no article on Amir DZ was published on our site in January 2021. We notably mentioned the case of this blogger in an article from March 2021, signed by our journalist Farid Alilat. We share it here.
If the other confessions of ex-corporal Benhalima are of the same barrel, we bet that they will not convince grand monde.