'Algeria doesn't allow its youth to look to the future'

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A protest in Paris against a fifth term of office for Algerian president Abdelaziz Bouteflika. © Rachida El Azzouzi A protest in Paris against a fifth term of office for Algerian president Abdelaziz Bouteflika. © Rachida El Azzouzi

Franco-Algerian economist El Mouhoub Mouhoud has talked to Mediapart about the economic and social origins of the current Algerian revolt. He criticises the inertia of the regime under President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, which has put off structural reform and driven the country into an economic and social dead end. Rachida El Azzouzi reports.

President Macron's U-turn over repatriation of French jihadists

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President Emmanuel Macron on February 27th 2019. © Reuters/Gonzalo Fuentes President Emmanuel Macron on February 27th 2019. © Reuters/Gonzalo Fuentes

Speaking during a recent debate with local councillors President Emmanuel Macron insisted: “No programme for a return of jihadists has today been drawn up.” Yet, as Mediapart can reveal, officials at the ministries of Defence, Foreign Affairs, Interior and Justice have in fact been working since the autumn of 2018 on plans for the return of French jihadists held by Kurds in Syria. Matthieu Suc reports on the French government's change of heart.

How a French radio station kept hidden files on listeners

By Lou Syrah
Europe 1's studios on March 14th 2012. © Reuters Europe 1's studios on March 14th 2012. © Reuters

For nearly 20 years the privately-owned French radio station Europe 1 kept files and stored information on more than half a million listeners, sometimes with their details accompanied by insulting comments. This was detailed in a 2017 report by the French data watchdog the Commission Nationale de l'Informatique et des Libertés (CNIL) which has remained confidential but which has been seen by Mediapart. As a result of the report the radio station was given an official warning but the matter was never referred to the prosecution authorities, nor did Europe 1 have to pay a fine. Lou Syrah reports.

Macron security aide affair: Mediapart responds to its critics

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Alexandre Benalla and President Emmanuel Macron during a visit to Normandy April 12th 2018. © Reuters Alexandre Benalla and President Emmanuel Macron during a visit to Normandy April 12th 2018. © Reuters

Mediapart is not a back-room intelligence agency but a news-gathering organization. We do not spy on anyone nor do we install secret microphones, writes Mediapart publishing editor Edwy Plenel. We are content with revealing information in the public interest while respecting press laws. That is true in the current affair involving President Emmanuel Macron's security aide Alexandre Benalla just as it was in the earlier Bettencourt, Sarkozy-Gaddafi and Cahuzac affairs, he says.

Rape probe dropped against French film-maker Luc Besson

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Luc Besson at the 69th Cannes Film Festival on May 20th 2016. © Reuters Luc Besson at the 69th Cannes Film Festival on May 20th 2016. © Reuters

The prosecution authorities in Paris have announced that after an preliminary investigation they will not pursue allegations of rape made against the well-known film director and producer. However prosecutors say that on February 21st 2019 they started another preliminary probe concerning the film producer after receiving a “report concerning acts of sexual assault”. Luc Besson denies all the claims. Marine Turchi reports.

France to supply Libya with speedboats to block migrant crossings

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France is to supply the Libyan navy with six speedboats destined for coastguard operations to intercept migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean to Europe. The move was described as “scandalous” by medical aid NGO Doctors without Borders, which underlined the horrific fate that awaits intercepted migrants, who are placed in notorious internment camps in Libya. A recent report by UN agencies denounced the camps for practices of violence, torture and rape, and solemnly called on EU countries to ensure they give “no support” to the Libyan coastguard that “contributes to bringing rescued migrants and refugees back to Libya”.

Survivors recall the tragic 1947 anti-colonial revolt in Madagascar

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'There are things I cannot forget': the 1947 uprising in the words of those who lived through it. 'There are things I cannot forget': the 1947 uprising in the words of those who lived through it.

French cinemas began this month showing a documentary film telling the story, with first-hand witness accounts, of a 1947-1948 pro-independence uprising against French rule in Madagascar. Fahavalo, directed by French-Madagascan filmmaker Marie-Clémence Andriamonta-Paes, is the first feature film-length documentary of the events to be screened in cinemas, and includes numerous interviews with former members of the rebel movement, which was brutally crushed by the French army with the loss of tens of thousands of lives, variously estimated at between 30,000 and 89,000. Fanny Pigeaud interviews the director and returns to the events which for many decades officially remained a buried and unrecognised tragedy.

French Senate report into disgraced Macron aide opens rift with government

Alexandre Benalla (left) appearing before the French Senate's commission of inquiry, September 19th 2018. © Reuters Alexandre Benalla (left) appearing before the French Senate's commission of inquiry, September 19th 2018. © Reuters

A damming report published this week by a French Senate commission of inquiry set up to investigate the scandal surrounding President Emmanuel Macron’s disgraced former security aide Alexander Benalla was dismissed on Thursday by French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe as being politically motivated. The senators found that the events behind the scandal, which began when Benalla was filmed assaulting people on the sidelines of a May Day march last year, and which have been followed by Mediapart’s revelations that the maverick aide has been negotiating personal security deals worth 2.2 million euros with Russian oligarch’s close to the Kremlin, are the result of “major failings” at the heart of the Élysée Palace, which placed at risk “the security of the head of state and, beyond this, the interests of our country”.

The 'new' and 'old' anti-Semitism blighting France

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Nonna Mayer during a 'Mediapart Live' debate in 2017. © Mediapart Nonna Mayer during a 'Mediapart Live' debate in 2017. © Mediapart

Several rallies denouncing anti-Semitism in France were held on Tuesday evening in Paris, in reaction to a recent spate of anti-Semitic acts across the country, the latest of which was the desecration overnight Monday of tombstones in a Jewish cemetery near the eastern city of Strasbourg. Meanwhile, official figures show a 74 percent year-on year rise in anti-Semitic acts recorded by police in France in 2018. Mediapart asked Nonna Mayer, a specialist in anti-Semitism and emeritus research director with France’s national scientific research centre, the CNRS, for her insight into the growth of anti-Semitic acts recorded in the country, her analysis of the different motives behind the anti-Semitism, and her views on how best to respond to the problem.

Gaddafi spy chief tells French judges he oversaw 7m-euro payment for Sarkozy election campaign

By and
Mohamed Abdulla Senussi (left) during his trial in Tripoli in April 2014. © Reuters Mohamed Abdulla Senussi (left) during his trial in Tripoli in April 2014. © Reuters

As part of their investigation into the suspected funding by the Gaddafi regime in Libya of Nicolas Sarkozy’s 2007 presidential election campaign, two French judges travelled to Tripoli earlier this month when they questioned, for the first time face-to-face, Gaddafi’s former spy chief, and brother-in-law, Mohamed Abdulla Senussi. Mediapart has gained access to extracts from the statements provided by Senussi, who detailed how he oversaw the payment of 7 million euros for Sarkozy’s campaign, as ordered by Gaddafi. He also confirmed that, as part of the deal, the former French president’s personal lawyer and friend Thierry Herzog was involved in moves to overturn an international arrest warrant issued against Senussi after his conviction in absentia by a Paris court for his part in the blowing up of a French airliner in 1989.

Former French PM Juppé's controversial appointment to Constitutional Council

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Alain Juppé. © Reuters Alain Juppé. © Reuters

The appointment this week of former conservative prime minister Alain Juppé to France’s highest constitutional authority, the Constitutional Council, has been met with surprise and controversy. The nomination of Juppé, who was convicted in 2004 over his role in a fraud scam at Paris City Hall, and who is the political mentor of French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe, is joined by that of a former minister of Philippe’s government, and also of a conservative senator. As Mediapart political correspondent Ellen Salvi reports, the appointments to the Council, which is supposedly an independent body with ultimate power of decision over the validity of legislation but also that of elections, notably campaign funding, are likely to widen President Emmanuel Macron’s political base, and call into question his vision of the institution.

New revelations on Macron aide's oligarch deals worth 2.2m euros

Left to right: Alexandre Benalla, Iskander Makhmudov, and Farkhad Akhmedov. © DR Left to right: Alexandre Benalla, Iskander Makhmudov, and Farkhad Akhmedov. © DR

Emmanuel Macron’s disgraced former personal security aide Alexandre Benalla, who also served as deputy to the president’s inner cabinet chief, organised from the Élysée Palace a private deal to provide protection services to a Russian oligarch close to the Kremlin and who is suspected of ties to Russian organised crime. Benalla, who was initially dismissed from his post after assaulting people on the sidelines of a May Day march, last December also sold protection services to another Russian billionaire. The total of the two deals is worth 2.2 million euros, part of which was paid to Benalla in Morocco, Mediapart can reveal in this latest investigation into the growing scandal which, it is speculated, may be linked to the resignation announced this week of Macron’s most senior advisor, Ismaël Emelien.

Revealed: France's lies over the genocide in Rwanda

By and Benoît Collombat (Radio France)
The wreckage of Rwandan president Juvénal Habyarimana's aicraft, shot down on April 6th 1994. © Reuters The wreckage of Rwandan president Juvénal Habyarimana's aicraft, shot down on April 6th 1994. © Reuters

In a joint investigation, Mediapart and Radio France have revealed the contents of previously unseen documents relating to aspects of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, from the assassination of President Juvénal Habyarimana which sparked the massacres to illegal arms sales to the genocidal regime. The documents include a key report by France's overseas intelligence agency, the DGSE, on the genocide, which left close to one million people dead. Mediapart's Fabrice Arfi and Benoît Collombat of Radio France report.

Probe launched into Russian oligarch contract linked to Élysée security aide

Alexandre Benalla and, just behind him, Vincent Crase in Paris on May 1st 2018 . © Reuters Alexandre Benalla and, just behind him, Vincent Crase in Paris on May 1st 2018 . © Reuters

France's national fraud prosecution unit has opened an investigation for “corruption” over a French firm's security contract signed with Russian oligarch Iskander Makhmudov, and negotiated by Alexandre Benalla while the latter was a security aide at the Élysée. Mediapart first revealed details of this contract, which involves a company run by Benalla's friend Vincent Crase, back in December. In a separate development the French prime minister's head of security has resigned after claims that her flat was used to host a bail-breaching meeting between Benalla and Crase that was secretly recorded in July 2018. She denies any wrong doing. Fabrice Arfi, Antton Rouget and Marine Turchi report.

How French PM's office sparked probe into Mediapart's sources in security aide affair

President Emmanuel Macron and prime minister Édouard Philippe in Paris in March 2018. © Reuters President Emmanuel Macron and prime minister Édouard Philippe in Paris in March 2018. © Reuters

It was an intervention from the office of France's prime minister Édouard Philippe which caused the opening of an investigation into the source of secret recordings involving a former presidential aide, Mediapart can reveal. This investigation then led to an attempt by prosecutors to search Mediapart's office – which Mediapart prevented, citing laws designed to protect its sources. The prosecution authorities, meanwhile, are remaining silent about the information they received which caused them to start the probe. Fabrice Arfi, Antton Rouget, Matthieu Suc and Marine Turchi report.