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May 14, 2009

Tunisia tries to oust head of journalist syndicate

Tunisian government efforts to force out the president of a critical journalists union is part of a campaign to eliminate independent media in the country, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said Wednesday. The campaign started on May 4 when a group of pro-government journalists and followers of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali prevented National Syndicate of Tunisian Journalists (NSTJ) President Neji Bghouri from speaking during a press conference in Tunis, amid threats and insults... MORE
February 12, 2009

After closing radio station’s premises, Tunisian authorities now harass its journalists

Radio Kalima journalist Zakia Dhifawi was arrested by six plain-clothes Tunisian policemen Tuesday afternoon as she was leaving a trade union building in Tunis and was held for an hour at the Charles de Gaulle Street police station, where she was subjected to humiliating treatment. Kalima trainee journalist Faten Hamdi was meanwhile threatened with prosecution yesterday, three days after she was briefly arrested. “It is intolerable that the staff of Kalima, Tunisia’s sole independent radio... MORE
January 29, 2009

Radio station in Tunisia under siege

Plainclothes police surrounded the offices of a newly launched satellite radio station in Tunisia and detained one of its journalists on Tuesday, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has reported quoting local journalists. Police continued their siege of the station Wednesday. The journalist, Dhafer Otay of Radio Kalima, said he was held for four hours and then released without charge. Officers prevented him and his colleagues from entering the Tunis offices of their independent satellite... MORE
January 5, 2009

In Tunisia, security agents intimidate reporters

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has condemned the intimidation of Tunisian journalists who tried to cover efforts on December 30 last by the opposition Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) to demonstrate against Israeli attacks on Gaza. Two journalists were assaulted and three faced harassment in Tunis, according to several CPJ interviews. Al-Jazeera correspondent Lotfi Hajji told CPJ that an agent punched him in the face at the headquarters of the PDP, where a march was supposed to... MORE
December 19, 2008

TV reporter sentenced in absentia to six years in prison for coverage of Tunisian mining unrest

A court in Gafsa (350 km south of Tunis) has sentenced reporter Fahem Boukadous in absentia to six years in prison on a charge of “forming a criminal association liable to attack persons and their property” for covering demonstrations in the Gafsa mining region. Boukadous works for Al-Hiwar Attounsi, a privately-owned TV station based in Italy that broadcasts to Tunisia. “This harsh sentence is yet another example of the arbitrary manner in which all those who upset the authorities are treated... MORE
November 30, 2008

Reporter at Tunisia's Kalima Radio arrested and violently assaulted

Faten Hamdi, a reporter at Kalima Radio, was arrested by a group of policemen and violently dragged to El Gorjani Police Station after being physically assaulted in front of Tunis's Preparatory Institute for Art and Humanities Studies, the Observatory for the Freedom of Press, Publishing and Creation in Tunisia (OLPEC) has reported. The Kalima reporter was on November 24 covering protests organised by students at the institution in response to recent attacks by plain-clothed policemen during... MORE
November 14, 2008

TV reporter wanted by Tunisian police for coverage of unrest in mining region

Tunisian authorities have pressed charges against against TV reporter Fahem Boukadous because of his coverage of this year’s protests in the Gafsa mining region, 350 km south of Tunis. This he did for the independent Tunisian TV station Al-Hiwar Attounsi, Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) has reported. Boukadous is also charged with putting foreign news media in contact with labour leaders in Gafsa. Boukadous, who went into hiding on July 5, is wanted by the authorities on charges of “belonging... MORE
November 10, 2008

Marking an anniversary, Tunisia's Ben Ali should end repression: CPJ

On the 21st anniversary of the coup that brought Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali to power, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has called on the longtime leader to end his government's repressive media tactics. Ben Ali, who seized power from Habib Bourguiba in a bloodless coup, has pursued some of the most restrictive press tactics in the Arab world, CPJ research shows. Through years of harassment, censorship, and imprisonment of journalists, Ben Ali has largely eradicated... MORE
October 24, 2008

Tunisia seizes weekly, summons editor to court

The Tunisian government has seized the latest issue of an opposition newspaper and to summon an independent editor to appear before a public prosecutor, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has reported. The Interior Ministry seized the October 22 issue of Mouatinoun , the weekly newspaper of the Democratic Forum for Labour and Liberties party, for “publishing unlawful allegations,” said Tunisian state-controlled papers on Thursday. The case has been handed to the public prosecutor, state... MORE
October 9, 2008

Tunisia greets international friends, silences critics at home

Tunisia promotes itself as a progressive nation that protects human rights, but an investigation has found that it aggressively silences journalists and others who challenge the policies of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. In a new report, 'The Smiling Oppressor', the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has found that journalists are subjected to routine imprisonment, assault, harassment, and censorship. Ben Ali's administration enjoys close ties with Western governments, which have been... MORE