Reporters Without Borders

Ten journalists physically attacked

Ten journalists were physically attacked during a demonstration in Tunis. The incident began when around 100 people tried to gather outside the Kasbah Palace in protest against the current government’s policies. Police blocked access to the palace, so many of the demonstrators went to the nearest mosque to made their demands heard, accompanied by the dozens of journalists who were there to cover the protest.

The security forces charged the protesters several times, hitting them with batons, insulting them and using tear-gas. They also used violence against journalists although they were clearly identifiable because of their cameras even if they were not wearing press markings. The journalists who were attacked included Nesrine Alloush, Shaker Besbes (Radio Mosaïque), Khawla Selliti (Radio 6), Amani Fethullah (Banner), Bashir Al-Saghairi (Radio Jeunesse), Assaad Mahmoudi (Tonsna), Reza Al-Tamtam, Marwan Farhani (a freelancer), Hajar Al-Mutairi (Al Sa’a) and Bassam Al-Barqawi (Al Sa’a).

“Hundreds of people were deliberately targeted by the police,” Agence France-Presse correspondent Sofiane Ben Farhat told Reporters Without Borders. “I heard men in uniform shout: ‘The men with cameras down there, they must be attacked’.” Defending their actions, the police accused the demonstrators of vandalism and taking alcohol into the mosque. The Union of Journalists filed a complaint against the interior ministry the next day.

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