IFJ Condemns Tunisia for Harassment of Journalist and Human Rights Militant

The International Federation of Journalists condemned today the political harassment by Tunisian authorities of famous journalist and human rights militant Neziha Rejiba, better known by the surname of “Om Zied”.

Upon return from a trip abroad recently, Om Zied, editor in chief of the outlawed paper “Kalima” and prominent member of the Conseil National pour les Libertés en Tunisie (CNLT) was interrogated by officials of the Customs Enquiries Directorate and charged with violating the law regulating the exchange of foreign currency. However, Tunisian sources report that according to the country’s legislation, Om Zied has not broken any laws.

“It seems like an obvious act of intimidation and harassment against a defender of basic civil rights in Tunisia,” said IFJ Secretary General Aidan White. “It is a blatant attempt to silence dissident voices.”

The IFJ says that Tunisian police permanently maintain surveillance on Om Zied’s residence and subject her family to acts of persecution.

The decision of the Customs Enquiries Directorate on Om Zied’s case has still not been made public, but the journalist risks five years of imprisonment and the payment of a fine for the alleged infraction.

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The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 100 countries