Last Updated: Friday, 24 November 2017, 11:39 GMT

Annual Prison Census 2009: Tunisia

Publisher Committee to Protect Journalists
Publication Date 8 December 2009
Cite as Committee to Protect Journalists, Annual Prison Census 2009: Tunisia, 8 December 2009, available at: [accessed 24 November 2017]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Journalists in prison as of December 1, 2009

Tunisia: 2

Zuhair Makhlouf, freelance
Imprisoned: October 20, 2009

Makhlouf, a contributor to the Tunisian news Web site Assabil Online, was arrested after writing an article about pollution in the industrial areas of Nabeul, according to local human rights groups.

He was charged with "harming and disturbing others through the public communication network" and placed at Al-Mornaguia prison, in the southern suburbs of Tunis. His case was pending in late year.

Taoufik Ben Brik, freelance
Imprisoned: October 29, 2009

Ben Brik, a contributor to several European media outlets and one of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali's top critics, was sentenced November 26 to six months in prison on trumped-up charges of assault, property damage, defamation, and violating public morality, according to CPJ interviews and news reports.

Ben Brik was not brought to the Tunis court when the ruling was issued, according to his wife, Azza Zarrad. His lawyers and family were prevented from visiting him for several days before the court hearing, she said. His lawyers said they would appeal.

Ben Brik was arrested just days after Ben Ali threatened to prosecute Tunisians who "cast doubt" on the results of the October general election. Ben Ali won a fifth term and the ruling Democratic Constitutional Rally won an overwhelming legislative majority in the balloting, which was marred by widespread media suppression.

In 2000, Ben Brik was charged with spreading false information and defaming public institutions in articles published in European media outlets. The charges were dropped after he went on a widely publicized hunger strike to protest judicial and police harassment.

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