Ikhwanweb :: The Muslim Brotherhood Official English Website

Thu93 2020

Last update18:06 PM GMT

Back to Homepage
Font Size : 12 point 14 point 16 point 18 point
:: Issues > Human Rights
CPJ: Tunisia must end harassment of independent journalists
CPJ: Tunisia must end harassment of independent journalists
The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Tunisian authorities to end the persecution and imprisonment of a critical journalist and to overturn a four-year jail sentence of another.
Wednesday, March 24,2010 20:43
by Bikya Masr Staff BM&Ikhwanweb

The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Tunisian authorities to end the persecution and imprisonment of a critical journalist and to overturn a four-year jail sentence of another.

Taoufik Ben Brik, a well-known contributor to European media outlets who is currently serving a six-month prison sentence on trumped-up charges, has repeatedly rejected a government offer to end his captivity on the condition that he sign an agreement saying he would stop criticizing President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and his family, local and international media outlets reported over the weekend.

Government envoys visited Ben Brik in Siliana Prison three times earlier this month to urge him to sign a letter saying he would “abide by the constitution and refrain from harming his excellency the president and his family,” Ben Brik’s brother, Jalel Zoghlami Ben Brik, told the Italy-based satellite television broadcaster Al-Hiwar Al-Tunisi and the opposition weekly Al-Mawkif on Friday.

“They want to cut off my tongue and break my pen, which is the most precious thing I have, and destroy my journalism career,” Al-Mawkif reported Ben Brik as saying.

This latest attempt to silence Ben Brik occurred about two weeks before an appeals hearing— slated for Tuesday in the southern town of Gafsa—for Fahem Boukadous, correspondent for satellite TV station Al-Hiwar Al-Tunisi. Boukadous was sentenced in January by a minor court to a four-year prison term for “belonging to a criminal association” and spreading materials “likely to harm public order” after covering violent labor demonstrations in the Gafsa mining region. The ruling came after he objected to a previous six-year jail term issued while he was in hiding for nearly 17 months. Boukadous told CPJ that he has been free since he emerged from hiding in November 2009 and that more than 40 lawyers have volunteered to represent him on Tuesday at in court.

“The government of President Ben Ali will stop at nothing to silence independent voices,” said Mohamed Abdel Dayem, CPJ’s Middle ‎East and North Africa program coordinator. “Our colleague Taoufik Ben Brik is to be applauded for his courage in defending his right to speak out as a journalist. We call on the authorities to order his release and to overturn Fahem Boukadous’ conviction on appeal.”

Attacks on local and international critical journalists have sharply increased since the October 2009 reelection campaign of President Ben Ali for a fifth term. In addition to Ben Brik’s and Boukadous’ jail sentences, Zuhair Makhlouf, correspondent for news Web site Assabil Online spent more than three months in jail on trumped-up charges in retaliation for critical coverage of President Ben Ali and his government.Human rights lawyer and blogger Mohamed Abbou told CPJ that he has received “similar offers” to end his imprisonment as Ben Brik. Abbou spent more than 28 months from 2005 to 2007 in jail for writing about torture and President Ben Ali’s autocratic rule.

Republished with Permission from Bikya Masr

tags: Tunisia / CPJ / Independent Journalists / Tunisian Authorities / European Media / Zine El Abidine
Posted in Human Rights  
Related Articles
Islam Online in crisis as administration threatens to fire journalists
Detention of 4 JOURNALISTS in Benghazi - Libya
Tunisia: Violates journalists freedom of speech and opinion with continued detentions
CPJ: Moroccan independent magazine faces closure
Activists, journalists and distinguished individuals converge in protest against police brutality.
Journalists' union election lifts lid on internal split
Journalists demand rescheduling of Syndicates Elections.
Journalists demand rescheduling of Syndicates Elections.
Journalists boycott negotiations' meetings as differences remain unresolved
Yemeni Press and journalists are in danger
On World Press Freedom Day: Press, Journalists in Egypt Between Trials and Suppression
Ahram Journalists Protest, Request Chair’s Leave
Egyptian Bloggers and Journalists in the Hot Seat
34 journalists killed in 2008
The following individuals have been killed in 2008 because of their work as journalists
Police in Sudan arrest dozens of journalists protesting against media censorship
IFJ denounces Israel for blocking entry of journalists into Gaza
Tunisian Authorities Denies Medications For Former Political Detainee
The Palestinian Journalists Forum calls for release of Journalists
IFJ Condemns Israeli Settlers’ Attack on Palestinian Journalists
Media forum and journalist bloc slam PA and Israel for arresting journalists
A year after Shaikh of Azhar call to lash journalists