muscular arrest of a lawyer, a live broadcast from 24 interrupted

muscular arrest of a lawyer, a live broadcast from 24 interrupted
muscular 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 24 which was forced to stop live sound. “Police assault on the Lawyer’s House”located opposite the Tunis courthouse, “lawyers attacked and colleague Sonia Dahmani kidnapped (driven) 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 went towards the channel team, telling them to turn off the camera under the strong protests of Maryline Dumas”the journalist on site.

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“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 for freedom of expression”added the channel.

“Incitement to hate speech”

According to media reports, Sonia Dahmani is the subject of an investigation in particular for broadcasting “false information with the aim of harming public safety” And “incitement to 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 launched 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 judged by some users on social networks as “degrading” for the image of Tunisia. On Thursday, Sonia 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 Msaddek.

Read alsoTunisia: a journalist critical of President Saied was placed in police custody

Sonia 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 Kais Saied, have been prosecuted on the basis of this text, according to the Union of Journalists.

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