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July 9, 2010

CPJ condemns prison term against Tunisian TV journalist

An appeals court in Tunisia on Tuesday upheld a criminal conviction and prison sentence handed down to Fahem Boukadous, a correspondent for the satellite television station Al-Hiwar al-Tunisi, in connection with his coverage of violent labour protests in the Gafsa mining region in 2008. Boukadous, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), faces a four-year prison term on charges of “belonging to a criminal association” and spreading materials “likely to harm public order." In an... MORE
June 17, 2010

Tunisia moving forward with restrictive bill for press

The Tunisian Chamber of Deputies on Tuesday adopted a bill that reinforces an existing arsenal of legislation used to silence critical journalists, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). President Ben Ali is expected to sign the bill after its anticipated approval by the Chamber of Councilors. The change is unconstitutional since it violates freedom of expression as guaranteed by Tunisian constitution, New York-based CPJ reacted. Under the bill, which amends Article 61a of the... MORE
April 26, 2010

Tunisian journalist beaten by police

Tunisian journalist Zuhair Makhlouf, contributor to Tunisian news website Assabil Online, was recently assaulted, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). In a telephone interview, Makhlouf told New York-based CPJ that eight plainclothes police officers arrived at his home at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday and informed him that he was under arrest. Makhlouf said he asked them to show him an arrest warrant but instead they beat him in front of his wife and two children and took him to... MORE
March 25, 2010

Tunisia blocks journalists from press conferences

Tunisian authorities banned journalists from attending two press conferences for the launch of local and international human rights reports this week, and is stepping up harassment of journalists overall, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has said. On Wednesday, police ordered journalists not to attend a press conference at a law office in Tunis where Human Rights Watch was planning to present its report, “A Larger Prison: Repression of Former Political Prisoners in Tunisia.” Several... MORE
February 1, 2010

In Tunisia, critical journalist’s appeal rejected

A Tunisian appeals court on Saturday upheld a six-month prison sentence against journalist Taoufik Ben Brik, one of President Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali’s toughest critics, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has reported. Ben Brik was charged in November 2009 with assault, property damage, and violating public morality in connection with a purported attack on a woman, according to CPJ interviews and news reports. Ben Brik has denied the allegations and said they were fabricated in reprisal... MORE
January 20, 2010

Prison term completed, Tunisian still behind bars

An appeals court in the city of Nabeul refused Wednesday to release Tunisian Zuhair Makhlouf despite his completion of a three-month prison term imposed in October, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has reported. Makhlouf, a contributor to news website Assabil Online and the opposition weekly Al-Mawkif , remains in prison following his lawyer’s motion for a provisional release, according to news reports. Makhlouf’s sentence ended on January 18 but Tunisian penal code provisions say a... MORE
December 1, 2009

Tunisia jails two critical journalists and harasses others

Harassment of critical journalists has been escalating in Tunisia since President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali threatened to prosecute anyone who casts doubt on his reelection for a fifth five-year term in office on October 25. Journalists Zuhair Makhlouf and Taoufik Ben Brik were both sentenced to jail terms in the past week, the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has reported. Ben Brik has filed an appeal and Makhlouf plans to, according to their lawyers. Police harassment of... MORE
October 29, 2009

Post-poll violence in Tunisia and an arrest targeting

One journalist was arrested and another assaulted following the re-election of Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali as president for the fifth time on October 24, Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) has reported. Taoufik Ben Brik was arrested Thursday when he answered a summons for an alleged assault on a woman in the street last week. Everything points to the being a case trumped up by the authorities to attack the journalist who has written critical articles about President Ben Ali. He was taken to the... MORE
September 9, 2009

Tunisian court orders transfer of syndicate board

A Tunisian court has decided to recognise a pro-government board of the National Syndicate of Tunisian Journalists (NSTJ). Police Tuesday physically evicted members of the previous independent board from the syndicate’s offices, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has reported quoting local journalists. A court in Tunis Tuesday ordered the transfer of the syndicate’s offices to the new board, which was elected in mid-August, after months of a government-sponsored smear campaign against... MORE
August 19, 2009

Pro-government journalists take over National Syndicate of Tunisian Journalists

Pro-government journalists have ousted the board of the National Syndicate of Tunisian Journalists (NSTJ), the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has reported. The syndicate was the only independent organisation of its kind in Tunisia for critical journalists, providing them with syndication services among other benefits. In the latest in a long string of actions meant to eliminate critical media, pro-government journalists held an extraordinary session in Tunis on Saturday in which they... MORE