A Tunisian military court sentenced the journalist Salah Attia to three months in prison over reporting on a “Presidential-military conflict” in the North African country.
“The charges against Attia were harming the dignity and reputation of the national army, and doing what would weaken the army’s spirit of the military regime and obedience to the chiefs,” the journalist’s defence team declared
The charges have also included attributing “illegal matters to a public official without providing proof of this, and insulting others through the public telecommunications network,” according to the journalist’s defence team.
On 11 June, security officers arrested Attia, founder and editor-in-chief of local independent news website Al-Ray al-Jadid, at a coffee shop in Tunis.
Authorities questioned him about his source for a statement he made in an interview on the Qatari news channel Al-Jazeera about a growing conflict between President Kais Saied and the Tunisian army.
During his guest appearance on the Al-Jazeera broadcast on 10 June, Attia said that President Saied asked the army to close the offices of the general Tunisian Union of Labour, Tunisia’s largest labour union. Still, the military refused to do so and informed the union.
Attia said that the army also refused a request by Saied to place opponent political leaders under house arrest.
On 20 July, Attia launched a hunger strike to protest his prosecution in a military court. According to Attia’s daughter and news reports, he ended the strike on 6 August after he fainted and was transferred to the prison’s hospital.
Therefore, we call on Tunisian authorities to drop all the charges against the Tunisian journalist, who was brought before a military court.