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Tunisia's Court of Appeal upholds 'Black Book' ban

July 8, 2014 at 2:14 pm

The Tunisian Court of Appeal upheld a court decision to stop the printing, publication and distribution of the controversial “Black Book” published by the Tunisian presidency, Al-Arabiya news agency reported on yesterday.

The lawsuit was brought forward by a popular football team, Esperance Sportive de Tunis against the Tunisian presidency accusing it of defamation.

The Tunisian presidency published the controversial “The Propaganda Apparatus Under Ben Ali: the Black Book” which included a list of prominent journalists and media professionals “involved” in dealing with the regime of former President Ben Ali, ousted in January 2011.

The book triggered controversy within the Tunisian political sphere where the majority of politicians and human rights activists denounced the presidency’s decision to use the country’s archive without judicial permission, pointing out that nobody has the right to use the country’s archive in the political conflict.

The National Union of Tunisian Journalists condemned the release of the book and expressed, in a statement, fear that material contained in the “Black Book” would be used to settle political scores.

The Union promised earlier that it will reveal the “black list” of journalists involved in the corruption by the previous regime, “but the list has not been disclosed until now”.

Some observers believe that releasing the book under the current circumstances is an “attempt by the presidency to hold an early election campaign” while others considered the move “an important step to correct the revolution’s path and called on the presidency to continue the fight against corruption”.