Media watchdog demands release of Tunisian editor

2012-02-18 22:35

Tunis - Reporters Without Borders (RSF) on Saturday demanded the release of a Tunisian newspaper editor held for publishing a photograph of a nude woman.

"RSF demands the immediate release of Nasreddine Ben Saida, the first media official imprisoned in the post-Ben Ali era," the group said in a statement, referring to strongman Zine el Abidine Ben Ali deposed early last year.

RSF also called for an end to legal action against Saida and two other staff of the newspaper Ettounsia after the three were arrested for indecency on Wednesday.

Their arrests followed the publication of a photo of Real Madrid star midfielder Sami Khedira, a German of Tunisian origin, embracing his naked model girlfriend.

An investigating magistrate decided Thursday to release the editor-in-chief of Ettounsia and a journalist, but ordered that Ben Saida be kept in detention.

He could face from six months to five years in jail and a fine of 120-1,200 dinars (60-600 euros, $79-790) if found guilty.

RSF slammed "the reaction's hypocrisy," noting: "Such photos regularly appear on the front page of foreign magazines sold in Tunisia."

The media watchdog urged Tunisian lawmakers "to demand application of the press code and to protect medias that guarantee democracy and pluralism."

Tunisian press unions also slammed the arrest of Ben Saida, saying in a statement that the action sought to "repress the freedom of journalists and the press."

Justice Minister Noureddine Bhiri fired back in comments broadcast by the private radio Mosaique, saying: "Media are supposed to remain neutral and stop harassing magistrates and trying to influence their decisions.

"The time when judges applied instructions is over, magistrates are competent and obey only the law and their conscience."

"No one is above the law in Tunisia, which is a true state of law since the revolution of January 14," 2011, the minister added.

Read more on:    censorship
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/News
Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Someone may be making you feel uncomfortable. It may be a power issue or a situation that is forcing you to see things truthfully....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.