The following letter was sent this morning to the Algerian Ambassador:
I would like to take the opportunity to call your attention to the case of Mr. Tahar Djehiche, an Algerian citizen and cartoonist, who is detained in your country. He is the subject of concern for myself and my colleagues at the UK’s Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation as he has been convicted on appeal by a court in Lemghir, El-Oued and sentenced to six months imprisonment with a fine of 500,000 dinars. He had already been acquitted earlier this year in May on the charges of insulting President Bouteflika and inciting a riot through the drawing of a cartoon showing the President at the bottom of an hourglass, buried in the sand. We at the Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation feel that he was simply attempting to show the environmental challenges linked to shale gas production and therefore respectfully ask that Algeria’s highest court show leniency towards Djehiche and release him immediately.
I, and those UK cartoonists who share my concern, would be gratified by a reply from you as soon as possible.