Tunisia Releases Journalist Who Criticised the Country’s Interior Minister

Tunisia Releases Journalist Who Criticised the Country's Interior Minister (News Central TV)

Reports indicate that a Tunisian court on Friday freed a journalist who had been detained after she criticised police and the interior minister, her lawyer and the journalists’ union said.

Recall, on Thursday, News Central reported that a Tunisian court detained a journalist Chahrazed Akacha who criticised the police and the interior minister, denouncing a setback in freedom of expression since President Kais Saied seized executive power last summer.

The arrest of Charahzed Akacha on Thursday sparked outrage and was widely viewed as a loss to freedom of expression since President Kais Saied took executive power last summer

“Akacha was released,” her lawyer Samir Dilou said.

Amira Mohamed, a representative from the Tunisian Journalists’ National Syndicate, confirmed the report.

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Akacha was arrested on Thursday, according to the union, as a result of a Facebook post in which she criticised Interior Minister Taoufik Charfeddine and accused police of insulting and abusing her in the street last week.

Akacha wrote in her post that the interior minister should supervise his police officers, referring to them as “dogs” after she claimed they beat her, insulted her, and removed her veil.

Tunisians gained improved speech and press freedoms following the 2011 revolution that overthrew former President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and sparked the Arab Spring demonstrations.

The democratic system established following the revolt, however, is in grave jeopardy after President Saied disbanded parliament, assumed executive power, and ignored the constitution to rule by decree, a move that opponents have dubbed a coup.

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It is pertinent to mention that seven journalists were arrested by Somaliland police on Wednesday while covering a prison altercation in the region’s capital, Hargeisa.

Meanwhile, the National Syndicate of Tunisian Journalists (SNIT), asked for the immediate release of colleague Chahrazed Akacha, arrested yesterday on the orders of the judiciary on charges of having “damaged third parties or disturbed their tranquility through public telecommunications networks “, pursuant to Article 86 of the Telecommunications Code.

In a note, the journalists union recalls that Akacha last week had been heard by the investigators, after the presentation of a complaint against her by the Ministry of the Interior, against the background of messages published on her Facebook account, in which she criticized the direction of the department.

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