New Telegraph

Journalists Protest Police Brutality In Tunisia

Dozens of journalists on Monday took to the Police Station in Tunis, the capital of Tunisia in protest after two of their colleagues had been taken in for questioning over comments on Tunisia’s security forces.

New Telegraph gathered that prior to the protest, columnist, Haythem El Mekki and presenter, Elyes Gharbi were interrogated for several hours, after which their case has been transferred to the Tunis prosecutor’s office

It would be recalled that both journalists had on May 15 discussed the shortcomings in Police recruitment on Gharbi’s program on the private Mosaique FM radio, in the wake of a deadly mass shooting near a synagogue on Djerba Island less than a week.

The segment subject raised an uproar among police unions, arguing that the discussion had harmed law enforcement officers in the country.

“All the questioning focused on my intervention during the broadcast,” Mekki told the media via telephone after his release on Monday.

But according to the SNJT journalists’ union said 20 Tunisian journalists currently face prosecution for their work.

Noureddine Boutar, owner of Mosaique FM, Tunisia’s most listened-to radio station, is amongst some of the most prominent critics of President Kais Saied, including former ministers and businessmen, to have been arrested since February.

The president won a landslide victory in a 2019 general election but assumed wide-reaching powers in a July 2021 power grab.

Journalists and human rights groups in the North African country often protest government policies that are aimed at intimidating the media and silencing critics.

Last week, Mosaique FM journalist Khalima Guesmi was jailed for five years on appeal for disclosing information about the security services.

Several local and international rights groups and trade unions have cautioned against the “repressive direction” of Saied’s government.

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