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Tunisia: man arrested for ‘insulting’ president on social media

February 2, 2022 at 12:14 pm

Social media apps [Ali Balıkçı – Anadolu Agency]

A young man has been detained by order of Tunisia’s public prosecutor for allegedly “insulting” President Kais Saied on social media. The arrest was made amid mounting local and international warnings of freedoms being violated in the country.

Local media outlets reported that the man is a resident of Bardo in the capital, Tunis. He apparently posted a video clip on his Facebook page in which he spoke “about the House of Representatives and the Presidency of the Republic” and shared a number of photos alongside other statements.

Human rights organisations in Tunisia believe that the allegation against him is based on Article 67 of the Penal Code dating from 1913. This, they said, is a tool used by the authorities to eradicate political opponents. They called for the law to be reviewed.

The organisation Reporters without Borders has warned against the violation of rights and freedoms in Tunisia since “Saied’s coup” on 25 July last year. Last week, civil society groups in Tunisia expressed “real fears over freedoms” and called for political dialogue to resolve the current crisis.

Moreover, 32 civil and human rights groups have stressed in a joint statement the importance of “protecting public and individual rights and freedoms, especially freedom of expression, media and organisation freedoms and freedom of opinion” in Tunisia.

READ: Ban of demonstrations extended for two weeks to reduce spread of COVID-19 in Tunisia

Tunisia's president Kais Saied is bleeding the country - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]

Tunisia’s president Kais Saied is bleeding the country – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]