However, it retains broad restrictions on content that is "contrary to the principles of Islam or offensive to other religions and sects" and "matters leading to dishonoring and defaming individuals." The legislation also establishes a government-appointed commission with the power to decide if journalists who contravene the law should face court prosecutions or fines.Critics of the law have alleged that its prohibition of "anti-Islamic" writings is overly vague and has led to considerable confusion within the journalistic community on what constitutes permissible content.
The plan came as part of a deal allowing municipal elections to proceed in early 2007.
Algerian courts are subject to government pressure when adjudicating cases of libel and related offenses.
Free expression was dealt another blow in 2006 as a result of President Abdelaziz Bouteflikas plan for national reconciliation after the civil conflict of the 1990s.
The media played a prominent role in at least two new incidents that proved embarrassing to the government.
In March, the Tirana-based television station Alsat broadcast a gaffe in which Foreign Minister Besnik Mustafaj predicted further regional border changes if Kosovo were partitioned between Serbs and ethnic Albanians.
Many independent media outlets are hampered by a lack of revenue.