Tunisian journalists strike over restrictions

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Journalists in Tunisia have gone on strike to protest against press restrictions imposed by the government.

Tuesday’s strike, called by the National Union of Tunisian journalists, comes a day after a journalist whose arrest sparked an outcry, was freed on bail.

“It’s a victory for everyone who supports freedom of expression over those who, with the help of the judiciary, would like to suspend this freedom and settle their scores with people not willing to give it up,” Zied el-Heni told AFP news agency after bail was paid for his release.

Heni was placed in pre-trial detention on Friday for accusing the public prosecutor of fabricating evidence implicating cameraman Mourad Meherzi in an egg-throwing attack on a minister.

The cameraman spent three weeks in prison before his release on bail on Monday, while the egg-thrower – a film-maker – remains in custody.

On Friday evening, after Heni was detained, a judge agreed to grant him bail, but it was not possible to pay the bail money until Monday morning, so the reporter spent the weekend in jail.

“The file must now go back to the judge who must listen to our arguments. In my opinion this case should be dismissed,” said Heni’s lawyer Abdelaziz Essid.

His comments were echoed by Reporters Without Borders, which called his pre-trial detention “totally unjustified” and designed to silence any criticism.

By Tasnim News Agency


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