Tunisian journalists demonstrate to demand release of colleagues

Tunisian journalists demonstrate to demand release of colleagues
Source: Shutterstock

Dozens of Tunisian journalists demonstrated in the capital Monday against what they termed "repression" of freedoms, demanding the release of two convicted colleagues. Around 60 demonstrators gathered outside the headquarters of national journalists' union (SNJT), chanting slogans like "Freedom for the Tunisian press" and "The police state is old news." 

The protest followed the sentencing last week of journalists Borhan Bssais and Mourad Zeghidi to one year in prison for social media posts criticizing Tunisia's socio-economic situation and President Kais Saied, who assumed autocratic powers in 2021. Protesters, including the journalists' families, held placards reading "Journalism is not a crime" and "No to liquidating the media." 

Bssais and Zeghidi were convicted under Decree 54, enacted in 2022 to combat "false news" which has been criticized for stifling dissent. International NGOs, the EU, the US, and France have expressed concern over recent arrests under this decree. President Saied claimed last week that Tunisia's constitution guarantees freedom of expression and that no one has been prosecuted for their opinions.

Great! You’ve successfully signed up.

Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.

You've successfully subscribed to MAGHREB INSIDER.

Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.

Success! Your billing info has been updated.

Your billing was not updated.