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Lawyer detained during live news broadcast

Publish date: 13 May 2024
Issue Number: 1076
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Category: Tunisia

A live television broadcast was disrupted when plain-clothed security officers entered the headquarters of Tunisia's Bar Association to detain a lawyer this weekend. Sonia Dahmani was wanted in connection with comments she had made earlier in the week about the security situation in Tunisia. A report on the AOL site notes that tthere has been growing criticism of restrictions on free speech imposed under the presidency of Kais Saied. Dahmani on Friday refused to attend a court hearing to explain why she questioned that sub-Saharan migrants would want to settle in Tunisia, her lawyer said. Then on Saturday, during a live France24 broadcast, reporter Marilyne Dumas can been seen at the association’s headquarters where Dahmani was thought to be. Someone then approaches the camera to try to shut it down and Dumas is heard saying: ‘We are in a public place, you do not have the right to do that.’ On Sunday, two journalists were arrested over critical comments they had made, a lawyer told the AFP news agency. The basis for these arrests and Dahmani 's detention is thought to be a controversial law known as Decree 54 which the President signed in September 2022. The authorities said it was introduced to fight fake news but critics say it is very vague and those found guilty of defamation or insult can face five years in prison. About 60 journalists, lawyers and opposition members have been held under the decree.


Full report on the AOL site

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