Journalist Ghassen Ben Khélifa released after 5-day detention – SNJT

The National Union of Tunisian Journalists (SNJT) announced in a statement the release of journalist Ghassen Ben Khélifa, who had been in custody for 5 days on the instructions of the prosecutor’s office of the Judicial Counter-Terrorism Division.

The SNJT had strongly condemned on Sept 7, the arbitrary arrest of journalist Ben Khélifa, founder of the website “Inhiyez,” after his home and his parents’ had been raided without the presentation of a warrant and his unjustified detention for 5 days.

The Union further decried “the ease with which the Public Prosecutor’s Office issues detention warrants against citizens and journalists without any suspicion or evidence of crimes,” pointing out that journalists, bloggers and human rights defenders are exposed daily to defamation campaigns, threats and electronic bullying by pages that support the government, without the justice system taking the slightest action, despite the numerous complaints lodged to this effect.

The SNJT said Ben Khalifa was prosecuted for a “non-existent link between the journalist and a page belonging to the Ennahdha movement that calls for the overthrow of Kais Saied.”

A protest march was staged last Friday from the SNJT’s seat towards the Habib Bourguiba Avenue to demand the release of journalist Ben Khelifa.