Police custody of journalist Mohamed Boughalleb extended by 48 hours (Lawyer)

Tunis: The Public Prosecutor to the Tunis Court of First Instance on Sunday decided to extend the police custody of journalist and columnist Mohamed Boughalleb by 48 hours, lawyer Anas Kaddoussi told TAP, giving the case a criminal nature.

The crimincal nature of the case gives rise to the possibility of prosecuting the journalist under Decree-Law 54 of September 13, 2022 on combating crime related to information and communication systems, the same source said.

The Public Prosecutor decided on March 22, 2024 to place journalist Mohamed Boughalleb in police custody for 48 hours following a complaint lodged against him by an official of the Religious Affairs Ministry for defamation on social networks.

President of the National Union of Tunisian Journalists (SNJT) Zied Dabbar pointed out for his part, that the use of Decree-Law 54 to try Tunisian journalists is unacceptable, especially in light of Decrees 115 and 116 regulating offences committed by the press or any other means of publication.

He further und
erlined that the prosecution of Tunisian journalists is intended to “undermine freedom of expression” and “silence critical voices.”

The SNJT on Sunday staged a sit-in in front of the Court of First Instance in support of journalist Mohamed Boughalleb and in protest against Decree-Law 54 and what it describes as “unjust prosecutions” of journalists.

The protest included journalists and a number of political and artistic figures.

Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse