Miscellaneous facts – Justice – Tunisia: heavy-handed arrest of a lawyer, a live broadcast from France 24 interrupted

Miscellaneous facts – Justice – Tunisia: heavy-handed arrest of a lawyer, a live broadcast from France 24 interrupted
Miscellaneous facts – Justice – Tunisia: heavy-handed arrest of a lawyer, a live broadcast from France 24 interrupted

Security forces stormed the Lawyer’s House in Tunis on Saturday evening and arrested Sonia Dahmani, a lawyer and columnist after making sarcastic remarks about the situation in the country, a scene filmed by France 24 which was forced to stop live sound.

Police attack on the Lawyer’s House“, located opposite the courthouse of Tunis, “lawyers attacked and kidnapping of colleague Sonia Dahmani (driving) to an unknown location“, indicated Dalila Msaddek, member of his defense team on Facebook.

Islam Hamza, another defender of the lawyer, confirmed to AFP “the arrest of Ms. Dahmani by police officers“.

The continuous news channel France 24, whose journalists were on site to cover the movement in support of the lawyer, was live at the time of the arrest.

The channel strongly protested in a press release against the attitude of the hooded police officers who, according to it, “then headed towards the channel’s team, telling them to cut the camera under the strong protests of Maryline Dumas”, the journalist on site. .

“The cameraman was released”

The police ended up violently tearing the camera from its tripod, stopping the live broadcast of the scene, and arrested Hamdi Tlili. The cameraman was released after around ten minutes and the France 24 correspondent is fine“, added the channel, which broadcast the images of the scene on X.

France 24 “strongly condemns this obstruction of press freedom and this brutal and intimidating intervention by the police preventing its journalists from exercising their profession, while they were covering a demonstration of lawyers for respect for justice and in support to freedom of expression“, added the channel.

According to media reports, Ms. Dahmani is the subject of an investigation in particular for disseminating “false information with the aim of harming public safety” and “inciting hate speech”, under Decree-Law 54 .

This decree, promulgated in September 2022 by President Kais Saied, punishes with up to five years in prison anyone who uses information and communication networks to “write, produce, disseminate (or) spread false news (…) with the aim of infringing the rights of others or harming public security“.

Tuesday, during a television show, Sonia Dahmani said in an ironic way:what extraordinary country are we talking about?“, in response to another columnist who had just stated that migrants from several sub-Saharan African countries were seeking to settle in Tunisia.

This statement was deemed by some users on social media as “degrading” for the image of Tunisia.

On Thursday, Ms. Dahmani received a summons, which she did not respond to, to appear on Friday before an investigating judge without the reasons being specified, according to Mr. Msaddek.

Ms. Dahmani explained to the press that she refused to appear in court.without knowing the reasons for this summons“.

Due to his absence, the investigating judge in charge of this case issued a warrant for his arrest.

In a year and a half, more than 60 people, including journalists, lawyers and opponents of Mr. Saied, have been prosecuted on the basis of this text, according to the National Union of Journalists.

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