Distinguished radio journalist Zied el-Heni arrested in Tunisia | Human Rights Information


El-Heni is a well known media determine in Tunisia and has been vocal about his opposition to President Kais Saied.

Distinguished Tunisian journalist Zied el-Heni has been arrested by an inner squad in plain garments who stormed his dwelling in a suburb of the capital Tunis, in keeping with native media, amid an ongoing crackdown on critics of President Kais Saied.

El-Heni, the host of a day by day programme at Radio IFM, was detained late Tuesday night time after a decide ordered that he be held in custody forward of his trial on a cost of insulting Tunisia’s president.

The journalist had posted on his Fb web page earlier that day that he had been summoned to look earlier than the Fifth Central Division for Combating Data and Communication Expertise Crimes. His Fb web page has since been deactivated, lawyer Islam Hamza confirmed to information outlet Arabi21.

The Nationwide Syndicate of Tunisian Journalists, an influential journalist union of which el-Heni was a cofounder, said that he had been taken to the el-Aouina space of Tunis to be interrogated earlier than the crime squad, and was denied his proper to have a lawyer current.

“El-Heni was interrogated within the absence of legal professionals. What occurred is a farce that enhances the dictatorial method,” El-Heni’s lawyer, Dalila ben Mbarek, advised the Reuters information company.

The journalists’ union mentioned it was unclear why el-Heni was summoned and charged, including that he’s sick and is being “disadvantaged of his easiest rights [for] justice, the appropriate to self-defence and medication”.

“Insistence on legal professionals not attending the investigation is suspicious,” the union mentioned.

El-Heni is a distinguished determine in Tunisia. He has been vocal about his opposition to the nation’s president, particularly since July 2021, when Saied sacked the federal government and suspended parliament earlier than shifting to rule by decree and ultimately taking management of the judiciary.

Earlier than the nation’s Arab Spring revolution which started in 2010, his weblog Tunisnews was blocked attributable to his opposition to the nation’s former strongman President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

El-Heni is credited with coining the time period the Jasmine Revolution to explain the Tunisian revolution that overthrew Ben Ali and set off the Arab Spring.

The journalist’s arrest is a part of a wave of a rising crackdown on the nation’s opposition. Since December, at the very least 30 individuals deemed important of the Tunisian authorities have been arrested, in keeping with Human Rights Watch.

The arrests have sparked condemnation from the worldwide group and rights teams.

Earlier this week, a whole lot of supporters of Tunisia’s predominant opposition coalition, the Nationwide Salvation Entrance, rallied to demand freedom for these detained.

The present head of the Tunisian journalists’ union, Mohamed Yassine Jelassi, condemned his colleague’s detention, stating on Fb that no citizen ought to be “prosecuted for an opinion, expression or concept”.

“Till the final breath, freedom of the press and expression shouldn’t be against the law,” Jelassi mentioned.

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