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Tunisia bans TV, radio coverage of opposition plot | Political News

The suppressed case involved at least 21 dissidents under investigation on “conspiracy” charges.

Radio and television programs in Tunisia have been banned from reporting on the case of a prominent opposition figure accused of plotting against state security, furthering Tunisian President Keith Said’s authoritarian turn.

A judge made the decision on Saturday, state news agency TAP reported.

“The investigative judge at Office 36 of the Anti-Terrorism Division issued a decision prohibiting media coverage of the two cases of conspiracy to endanger national security,” court spokesman Hanan Kadasi told TAP.

El-Qadas said the ban only concerns “audiovisual media” and that it was ordered to protect the privacy of those involved.

According to Amnesty International, at least 21 dissidents are being investigated for “baseless ‘conspiracy’ allegations”, which began in February. Human rights groups said at least 12 people were arrested.

Those arrested were publicly labeled “terrorists”, accused of plotting to attack the state, and investigated under 10 articles of the Tunisian penal code, including “article 72, which penalizes attempts to ‘change the nature of the state’ Sentenced to death”. country,” Amnesty International said.

Some outspoken critics of Saeed’s government are under investigation, including the recently arrested leader of the Ennahna movement, the country’s largest political party, Rashid Ghannouchi; Nejib Chebbi, leader of Tunisia’s National Salvation Front, The Front is an opposition coalition co-founded by the Baath Party; and a string of lawyers, journalists and activists.

According to Human Rights Watch, at least 30 opposition figures believed to be critical of the Tunisian government have been arrested since December in an effort to intensify the crackdown on the country’s opposition.

In July 2021, President Saeed dissolves the government and suspends parliament before turning to rule by decree and ultimately control of the judiciary. His government has arrested dozens of dissidents in recent months, drawing condemnation from the international community and human rights groups.

On Saturday, two U.S. senators introduced legislation to limit funding to Tunisia until it restores its democracy.

Moreover, a deal proposed by the European Commission to revive Tunisia’s economy — as part of a broader effort to stem the flow of refugees across its borders — has human rights groups concerned that it is backing Saeed’s government and ignoring its abuses.

Tunisia’s Salvation Front opposition coalition called for protests on Sunday over the arrest of some of its leaders and other prominent critics of the president.

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