Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FASHION

Paris, Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2014-2015.

Read more

REPORTERS

Exclusive: an unlikely victim of the 'War on Terror'

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

2014-07-11 21:47 AFRICA NEWS

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Finally, a good use for new app "Yo"

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 11 July 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 11 July 2014

Read more

#THE 51%

Sweden: A Feminist's Paradise?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Politics: parties under pressure

Read more

FOCUS

In Burma, the rise of radical Buddhism

Read more

  • UN Security Council calls for Israeli-Palestinian ceasefire

    Read more

  • The third-place playoff: the World Cup game no one wants to play

    Read more

  • France’s Kadri wins eighth stage at Tour de France

    Read more

  • Legal challenge to French mayor’s ban of Muslim hijab on beach

    Read more

  • Last of the Ramones, Tommy Ramone, dies aged 62

    Read more

  • Video: Outrage in wake of deadly Casablanca buildings collapse

    Read more

  • Iraqi forces ‘executed prisoners in reprisal’ for ISIS killings

    Read more

  • Ukraine promises retaliation after rebel assault

    Read more

  • Putin revives old Cuban flame and eyes Latin American minerals

    Read more

  • Kerry holds all-night talks with Afghan presidential rivals

    Read more

  • Amazon snubs French free delivery ban with one-cent charge

    Read more

  • Cleveland's NBA fans hail 'return of king' LeBron James

    Read more

  • Exclusive: an unlikely victim of the 'War on Terror'

    Read more

  • Magnitude 6.8 quake, small tsunami hit east Japan

    Read more

  • Suspect in Brussels Jewish Museum shooting drops extradition appeal

    Read more

Africa

Journalist Taoufik Ben Brik released from prison

©

Video by Kathryn STAPLEY

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-04-27

Journalist Taoufik Ben Brik has been released from prison in Tunisia, his wife says. Brik, a harsh critic of the Tunisian government, served a six-month jail term for assault following a trial criticised by some as politically motivated.

AFP - Dissident Tunisian journalist Taoufik Ben Brik was freed Tuesday after six months in jail for assault following a trial which he charged was politically motivated, he and his wife Azza Zarad said.
   
Ben Brik, known for his satirical criticism in the French press of Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, said that he planned to be in Paris by Monday "to celebrate World Press Freedom Day with my friends."
   
"I will see all my friends, all who supported me, my lawyer William Bourdon and my

"Ben Ali has everything under lock and key in Tunisia"

publishers," Ben Brik told AFP.
   
"He was released at 6:00 am (0500 GMT) after serving the whole of his sentence, not a single day less," Zarad said, adding that her husband had asked her to announce his release.
   
French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner reacted "with relief" to Ben Brik's release while stressing that freedom of expression was key for France.
   
"I share the joy of his family and friends and am pleased with the outcome of a case which we followed closely over the last months," he said in a statement.
   
Kouchner said he had discussed the case with his Tunisian counterpart Kamel Morjane during a visit to Tunis earlier this month.
   
The Tunisian government meanwhile insisted that Ben Brik's condemnation had not been linked to an issue of freedom of expression.
   
"Excellent relations between Tunisia and France allow for talks on all kinds of issues concerning the two countries, without any exclusions," Morjane told AFP following Kouchner's reaction.
   
But he added: "Mr Kouchner needs to be reminded however that the offences for which Mr Ben Brik was sentenced to prison had nothing to do with freedom of expression."
   
"Mr Ben Brik was found guilty of assault, wilful damage to property and immorality, after attacking a woman in front of witnesses," he said.
   
The 50-year-old journalist arrived in Tunis from Siliana prison to the northwest, where he had been transferred after being sentenced on November 26, 2009 to six months in prison for the assault of a young businesswoman.
   
Ben Brik maintained he had been framed by police for his political reporting and several human rights organisations condemned his trial as political and intended to silence him.
   
"It was a dirty trick, everybody knows that," said Ben Brik.
   
Asked about risks he faces in Paris, where he is being investigated because of another complaint of violence by a Tunisian woman, Ben Brik said it was "a plot of the same kind".
   
In France, lawyer Bourdon said that he had spoken to Ben Brik and that "he seems more combative than ever and in good health."
   
"I think you need to be a poet like him to manage -- when he was totally innocent -- to do six months in prison for nothing, at the whim of the authorities," Bourdon added.
   
Reporters sans Frontieres (RSF -- Reporters Without Borders) expressed relief at Ben Brik's release, but deplored the sentence against him.
   
"We recall that these six months of detention were six months too many, when it is evident that Taoufik has been the victim of lies cobbled together, thus paying the price of freedom of thought," RSF Secretary-General Jean-Francois Julliard said in a statement.
 

Date created : 2010-04-27

  • TUNISIA

    Dissident journalist jailed on 'fabricated charges'

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)