Tunisia: Khalifa Guesmi sentenced to five years in prison

  • 17 May 2023

The Tunis Court of Appeal has imposed the longest prison sentence to a journalist over his failure to disclose his source.

The National Union of Journalists has joined the International Federation of Journalists in condemning the longest sentence handed to a journalist by Tunisian courts.

On 15 May, Guesmi was sentenced to five years imprisonment for "disclosing confidential security information" after refusing to reveal the identity of his source. Mahdi Jlassi, president of the National Union of Tunisian Journalists (SNJT) has described the Court of Appeal’s decision as “the repressive approach of an authority that violates procedures, formalities, the right to defense and those of journalists”.

The NUJ has written to Nabil Ben Kheder, ambassador of Tunisia, requesting an urgent meeting.

Anthony Bellanger, IFJ general secretary, said:

“This sanction against Khalifa Guesmi is unacceptable. Secrecy of sources, as enshrined in our Global Charter of Ethics for Journalists, is an essential principle of journalism. We ask Tunisian justice to put an end to this incessant harassment against journalists in Tunisia.”

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