Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today condemned the kidnap and assault of Slim
Boukdhir, a freelance journalist and correspondent of Al Arabya newspaper in Tunisia,
who was abducted by unidentified men on Wednesday evening in Tunis. The journalist, who was later dumped near
a park stripped of his clothes by his attackers, sustained serious injuries.
"This is a
shameless attack on a journalist who has shown great courage in denouncing the
repressive regime in Tunisia,"
said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. "It is part of a shocking campaign
targeting independent journalists and opponents of the government."
reports, Slim was attacked by four men, believed to be state security agents,
shortly after his interview on the BBC World Service in which he was critical
of President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali's victory in last Sunday presidential elections.
The IFJ accuses
President Ben Ali of exposing independent journalists to mob violence following
his statements after the poll, accusing Slim and what he described as a "tiny
minority" of Tunisians of treason for working with foreign media organisations.
comments bear grave consequences for the country's democracy and independent media,"
added White. "They put journalists' safety at serious risk and intimidate
alternative voice on the nation's affairs."
National des Journalistes Tunisiens (SNJT), an IFJ affiliate has been subjected
to a government-inspired campaign of destabilisation after the leadership issued
a press freedom report critical of the government in May and refused to endorse
sitting President Ben Ali during the recent national elections.
For more information
contact the IFJ at
+32 2 235 2207
The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists
in 123 countries worldwide