The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the raid and calls on authorities to unconditionally allow Al-Jazeera’s Tunis bureau to resume operations and let all journalists in the country work freely.
In response to news reports that Tunisian security forces today stormed Qatari broadcaster Al-Jazeera’s Tunis bureau, ordered staff to leave the building, confiscated equipment, and barred staff from returning, the Committee to Protect Journalists issued the following statement:
“Today’s raid by Tunisian security forces on Al-Jazeera’s bureau jeopardizes the country’s bellwether status for press freedom in the region, 10 years after Tunisians fought to begin a transition to democracy,” said CPJ Senior Middle East and North Africa Researcher Justin Shilad. “Tunisian authorities must immediately and unconditionally allow Al-Jazeera’s Tunis bureau to resume operations and let all journalists in the country work freely.”
The raid came a day after Tunisian President Kais Saied fired Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi and froze parliament’s activities, amid protests over the government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and economic issues, according to news reports.