Skip to main content

Journalists call for release of imprisoned colleagues

1 min

Several dozen Tunisian journalists protested on Monday in Tunis against the "repression" of freedoms in the country and called for the release of two commentators they say were convicted for their opinions.

"Freedoms are starting to lose their value in Tunisia" © Mena Today 

Several dozen Tunisian journalists protested on Monday in Tunis against the "repression" of freedoms in the country and called for the release of two commentators they say were convicted for their opinions.

Chanting slogans such as "Freedom for Tunisian press," "The police state is a thing of the past," and "Judiciary under orders," about 60 demonstrators gathered outside the headquarters of the National Union of Tunisian Journalists (SNJT).

The protestors, including relatives of the imprisoned journalists, held up signs reading: "No to media liquidation," "Journalism is not a crime," and "No free and professional press under threat and intimidation."

This "day of solidarity" was organized after the sentencing last Wednesday of two well-known journalists to one year in prison for social media posts and statements in the media about the country's socio-economic situation and President Kais Saied, who orchestrated a power grab in the summer of 2021. 

Borhan Bssais, a TV and radio presenter, and Mourad Zeghidi, a political commentator, were arrested on May 11 and found guilty of spreading "false information" and "defaming others or harming their reputation." Their lawyers have appealed, their families told AFP on Monday.

Controversial Decree 54

They were convicted under Decree 54, issued in 2022 by President Saied, ostensibly to combat "fake news" but criticized for its broad interpretation. 

"Freedoms are starting to lose their value in Tunisia, and all the colleagues prosecuted are prisoners of conscience," said SNJT president Zied Dabbar before the rally. Demanding their release, he called for an end to the "instrumentalization of Decree 54" and the "repression of freedoms."

Related

Egypt

Egypt will halt summer load-shedding power cuts Sunday, PM says

Egypt will halt load-shedding power cuts during the summer as of Sunday, after some natural gas shipments arrived, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said on Wednesday, in a bid to end a crisis that inconvenienced a population of 106 million.

Sudan

More than 10 million people displaced by Sudan war, IOM says

More than 10 million Sudanese, or 20% of the population, have been driven from their homes since the war there began, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said on Tuesday, as the world's largest displacement crisis continues to worsen.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Mena banner 4

To make this website run properly and to improve your experience, we use cookies. For more detailed information, please check our Cookie Policy.

  • Necessary cookies enable core functionality. The website cannot function properly without these cookies, and can only be disabled by changing your browser preferences.