Tunisian authorities raid Al-Jazeera bureau amid political turmoil

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Tunisian security officers hold back protesters outside the parliament building in the capital Tunis on July 26, 2021, following a move by the president to suspend the country's parliament and dismiss the Prime Minister. - Tunisia was plunged deeper into crisis as President Kais Saied suspended parliament and dismissed Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi late July 25, prompting the country's biggest political party to decry a "coup d'etat". (Photo by FETHI BELAID / AFP)

Tunisian authorities raid Al-Jazeera bureau amid political turmoil

New York, July 26, 2021 – 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.”  Tunisian security officers hold back protesters outside the parliament building in the capital Tunis on July 26, 2021, following a move by the president to suspend the country’s parliament and dismiss the prime minister. Tunisian security forces raided Al-Jazeera today. (AFP/Fethi Belaid)

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.CPJ.ORG

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