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Hundreds of Tunisian president’s supporters protest against ‘foreign interference’

Hundreds of Tunisian president’s supporters protest against ‘foreign interference’

HUNDREDS of people demonstrated in Tunis in support of President Kais Saied amid widespread criticism at home and abroad after a wave of arrests that included journalists, activists and lawyers. The European Union, France and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights expressed concern at the arrests and at a police raid on the headquarters of the bar association this month in which two lawyers critical of the president were detained. Police this month arrested 10 people, including journalists, lawyers and officials of civil society groups, in what was described as a crackdown by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, which called on…
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Tunisian rights groups say freedoms threatened under Saied’s rule

Tunisian rights groups say freedoms threatened under Saied’s rule

FREEDOMS in Tunisia are being threatened under the rule of President Kais Saied and the authorities are using the judiciary and police to punish their opponents, 10 local rights groups said at a joint conference. Police this month arrested 10 people, including lawyers, activists, journalists and officials of civil society groups, in what was described as a crackdown by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, who called on the authorities to respect Tunisians' right to free speech and civil liberties. And last week thousands of lawyers took strike action after police for a second time raided the Bar Association's headquarters and arrested two…
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Tunisian police storm lawyers’ headquarters and arrest another lawyer

Tunisian police storm lawyers’ headquarters and arrest another lawyer

TUNISIAN police stormed the bar association's headquarters for the second time in two days and arrested a lawyer, witnesses said, after detaining two journalists as well as another lawyer critical of the president over the weekend. A live broadcast on the media website TUNMEDIA showed videos of broken glass doors and toppled chairs while the police arrested the lawyer Mahdi Zagrouba and other lawyers screamed in the background. Zagrouba is a prominent lawyer known for his opposition to President Kais Saied. On Saturday, police stormed the building of the Tunisian Order of Lawyers and arrested Sonia Dahmani, a lawyer also known…
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Two Tunisian journalists jailed pending trial, bolstering fears for free speech

Two Tunisian journalists jailed pending trial, bolstering fears for free speech

A Tunisian judge ordered the imprisonment of two prominent journalists pending trial, their families and lawyers said, reinforcing fears of a widespread campaign aimed at silencing dissent and curbing free speech. IFM radio journalists Mourad Zghidi and Borhen Bsaiss were detained on Saturday over political comments made on the radio, their lawyers said. Public Prosecution spokesman Mohamed Zaitouna said the two are suspected of publishing news that includes personal data and false news aimed at defamation. They will be kept in prison until their trial, expected at the end of this month. The detentions raise the number of jailed journalists…
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Tunisia extends the detention of two journalists, lawyers begin a strike

Tunisia extends the detention of two journalists, lawyers begin a strike

TUNISIA'S public prosecutor extended the detention of two journalists, while lawyers began a one-day strike to protest against the arrest of a prominent critic of the president, amid a growing political crisis in the country. Tunisian police stormed the building of the deanship of lawyers on Saturday and arrested Sonia Dahmani, a lawyer known for her fierce criticism of President Kais Saied. In a separate incident on the same day, two IFM radio journalists, Mourad Zghidi and Borhen Bsaiss, were also arrested over radio comments and social media posts, according their lawyers. The spokesman for the public prosecutor, Mohamed Zitouna, said…
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Hundreds protest in Tunisia to demand a date for fair presidential elections

Hundreds protest in Tunisia to demand a date for fair presidential elections

HUNDREDS of protesters gathered in the Tunisian capital to demand the release of imprisoned journalists, activists and opposition figures, and the setting of a date for fair presidential elections. The protest comes amid an economic and political crisis and a wave of arrests targeting journalists, lawyers, activists and opponents. Tunisian police stormed the building of the Deanship of Lawyers on Saturday and arrested Sonia Dahmani, a lawyer known for her fierce criticism of President Kais Saied. Two journalists were also arrested on the same day. The Election Commission said earlier that the elections would be held on time, but with…
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Tunisia detains a prominent activist for migrants’ rights

Tunisia detains a prominent activist for migrants’ rights

TUNISIA'S public prosecutor detained Saadia Mosbah, a prominent activist and head of a nongovernmental group that defends the rights of migrants, human rights groups said, hours after President Kais Saied accused some groups that defend Sub-Saharan migrants of treason. Tunisia has been grappling with a severe migration crisis due to an influx of Sub-Saharan Africans seeking to migrate to Europe in boats. Local media reported that the police began investigating Mosbah, whose group combats racism and defends migrants' rights, on suspicion of financial crimes. Residents of the southern town of El Amra demonstrated in favour of deporting migrants last weekend, saying the…
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Tunisian court imprisons journalist for insulting public official, his lawyer says

Tunisian court imprisons journalist for insulting public official, his lawyer says

A Tunisian court sentenced the prominent journalist Mohamed Boughalab, a fierce critic of President Kais Saied, to six months in prison on charges of insulting a public official, his lawyer told Reuters. "It is a black day for the judiciary and freedom of the press. It is a message to the press: Be silent or your place is in prison," Jamal Eddine Boughalab, who is the brother of Mohamed, said. Boughalab was detained last month, which the journalists' union said was aimed at silencing the voices of journalists.
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Tunisia court sentences ex-president Marzouki to 8 years in absentia

Tunisia court sentences ex-president Marzouki to 8 years in absentia

A Tunisian court sentenced former President Moncef Marzouki to eight years in prison in absentia on charges of assaulting the state security and inciting Tunisians against each other, a judicial official said. This is the second prison sentence against Marzouki, who resides in Paris after a judge sentenced him in 2021 to four years in absentia. Mohamed Zitouna, the spokesperson of the Tunis court, said the verdict was based on statements by Marzouki that included incitement in a speech he gave in Paris, without giving further details. Marzouki, who was president from 2011 to 2014, is a fierce critic of President…
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Tunisian opposition leader Ghannouchi sentenced to three years in prison

Tunisian opposition leader Ghannouchi sentenced to three years in prison

A Tunisian judge sentenced opposition leader Rached Ghannouchi, a fierce critic of President Kais Saied, to three years in prison on charges of accepting external financing, his lawyer Monia Bouali told Reuters. Ghannouchi, 82, head of the Ennahda main opposition party, has been in prison since April. Last year he was sentenced to a year in prison on charges of incitement against police. Bouali added that the court also imprisoned Ghannouchi’s son-in-law Rafik Abdessalem who is a senior Ennahda official, to three years in prison in the same case, in addition to fining the Islamist party $1.1 million. Ennahda in a statement…
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