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Tunisia journalists strike over media detentions

September 17, 2013

TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — Journalists in Tunisia are holding a one-day strike to protest what they are calling attacks on freedom of expression with the prosecution of several journalists.

Their union called Tuesday’s strike after journalist Zied El Heni was detained last week for questioning a case against a TV cameraman. El-Heni was freed Monday on $1,300 bail.

Union President Nejiba Hamrouni said the law should be changed so that journalists can no longer be prosecuted in criminal court for their work.

Despite a revolution that overthrew Tunisia’s dictator in 2011, prosecutors often file such cases against journalists, using laws forbidding insults to civil servants.

In a statement Friday, Human Rights Watch criticized a rash of attacks on freedom of speech in Tunisia, accusing the government of trying to silence critics.

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