Algeria threatens to ban French news agency AFP over ‘lies and misinformation’

Eiffel Tower at night seen from The Esplanade du Trocadero, Paris, France

Algeria accuses AFP of ‘heinous hostile campaign,’ serving agendas, lobbies hateful towards North African nation.

ALGIERS, Algeria

Algeria on Wednesday threatened to revoke the accreditation of French news agency AFP from operating in the country over what it said was a “heinous hostile campaign.”

In a statement, the Algerian Information Ministry said AFP “continues its hostile prejudice against Algeria and strips away from the lowest basics of credibility and objectivity.”

The statement also accused AFP of “lies and misinformation” aiming to distort Algeria’s image with its recent coverage, as well as of serving agendas and lobbies hateful towards the North African country.

On Tuesday, AFP published a report on secret and illegal immigration between Algeria and Spain, quoting people allegedly saying that they would “rather die at sea than stay in Algeria.”

Tensions escalated between Algeria and France last month following remarks by French President Emmanuel Macron that were viewed by many Algerians as insulting.

Algeria responded by recalling its ambassador in Paris and banning French military aircraft from using Algerian airspace on Oct. 3.

In further reaction to the rising tensions, three Algerian ministries announced that they would stop using French in their official correspondences.

Algeria spent 132 years under French colonial rule, gaining independence in 1962.

* Writing by Ahmed Asmar in Ankara