The newspaper mentions a “ technical error »But a part of Internet users and even public figures did not take off. The daily El Watan is at the heart of a lively controversy because of the front page of its edition of this Monday, September 20.
In the photo illustrating the main subject, the funeral of the former President of the Republic Abdelaziz Bouteflika, yesterday Sunday, the minaret of the Great Mosque of Algiers is missing, yet visible in other photos taken from the same place at the same time .
From the morning, the photo of El Watan and those taken by anonymous, are shown side by side on social networks. The newspaper is accused of knowingly blowing up the minaret with Photoshop. The management of El Watan issued a statement at midday in which it apologizes, citing “ an unfortunate technical treatment “.
” An unfortunate technical treatment at the level of the newspaper’s PAO service has made the minaret of the great mosque of Algiers disappear from the photo illustrating the front page of our edition today », Explained El Watan.
” We apologize to our readers and assure them that the incident, purely technical, has nothing to do with any ideological calculation, as circles known for their hostility to El Watan try to distill. », Defends the newspaper. At the same time, the original photo, with the minaret, was reinstated in the electronic edition of the daily.
Belhimer and Makri’s reactions
But the affair took on political proportions. Some go further and evoke ideological considerations that would be behind this photomontage. This is the case, for example, of the president of the MSP who reacted violently on his Facebook page by talking about “Hatred towards the symbols of the Muslim religion”. “I never imagined that their hatred and resentment could reach such a degree », Wrote Abderrazak Makri.
Communication Minister Ammar Belhimer denounced in a communicated posted on Twitter “A strange and unjustified behavior”, “an infringement of the laws” which govern the Great Mosque of Algiers, an attack on “this great religious landmark” and a “deviation” from the rules of professionalism and ethics.
“While clearly condemning these negative behaviors, especially at a time when our country is facing a cyber attack and methodical plans to alter its image and its sacred values, the Ministry of Communication reiterates its appeal to the newspaper El Watan and to the ‘all journalists and information professionals to show the required professionalism and to respect the rules of individual and legal responsibility and those of ethics and professional conduct ”Ammar Belhimer wrote in the statement.