Tunisian journalists rally against anti-terror laws

Dozens of journalists in Tunisia have held a demonstration against what they say are repressive anti-terror laws designed to intimidate the media.

They brandished placards outside the national journalists’ union headquarters, declaring that liberty depends on press freedom.

On Tuesday, an appeals court jailed a radio journalist, Khalifa Guesmi, for five years, increasing his earlier sentence by five times for disclosing information about Tunisia’s security services while the police officer convicted of giving him information got ten years in prison.

The media rights group, Reporters Without Borders and other critics accuse President Kais Saied of steering Tunisia towards dictatorship, saying the sentence sent a “terrifying” message to the country’s media.

Meanwhile, four persons have been arrested in Tunisia in connection with an attack outside a synagogue during an annual Jewish pilgrimage.

It happened a week ago on the historic island of Djerba, where six persons died.

The gunman was a police officer, who killed three other officers and two Jewish worshippers and was then killed by police.

Tunisian authorities have not called it a terror attack but President Kais Saied has held a meeting with Muslim, Jewish and Christian faith leaders, where he stressed that Tunisia was a country of “tolerance and coexistence”.