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Algeria: Artist and journalist attacked for promoting Kabyle culture

15 September 2017

An artist and journalist were attacked as they prepared to host a conference to announce the launch of a TV channel promoting Kabyle language and culture.

Comedian, film director/actor and journalist Reda Amrani and journalist Rachid Ali Uqasi were attacked as they prepared to host a conference to announce the inauguration of TV channel TQ5 promoting Kabyle language and culture, reported PEN International on 13 September 2017.

The attack took place on 4 September when they were confronted by a group of people while driving to the conference’s location, in Akbou, a town in Béjaïa province, northern Algeria. After the attack, Amrani and Uqasi were urgently taken to the hospital to receive treatment for their injuries.

The inauguration of the TV channel was moved to Akbou after the original event on 1 September in Tamazirt was cancelled when the gendarmes surrounded the public square where the conference was due to be held.

Authorities have prevented conferences and cultural events from taking place in the Kabali region on numerous occasions, and Kabyle culture is often the target of these injustices. Kabyle is a Berber language, spoken mainly in Algeria by persons belonging to Berber group.

Read PEN International’s article in full here

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