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Stockholm - Skyline expresses concern about the ongoing persecution and arrest of journalists by Tunisian authorities. Most recently, journalist Ghassan Bin Khalifa was arrested. Skyline calls on the authorities to end the policy of arresting journalists and bringing them to justice for their journalistic work.

In a statement, Skyline states that Tunisian authorities arrested journalist "Ghassan Bin Khalifa" on Tuesday, September 6, following a raid on his home and was taken into custody by prosecutors.

Skylime informed that it followed with regret the decision of the Prosecutor's Office at the Judicial Pol to fight terrorism to grant the journalist Ghassan bin Khalifa, founder of the website Anaziz, permission to remain in custody for a period of five days, subject to an extension to carry out the judicial consequences decided against him.

Skyline warns that the arrest of "Bin Khalifa" was due to violations of the law, according to the National Syndicate of Tunisian Journalists. It spoke of significant procedural and formal violations that accompanied the arrest, in that the flat of the journalist "Bin Khalifa" and the flat of his parents were searched without judicial authorization.

The defense team confirmed that there is no evidence or circumstantial evidence in the file of journalist "Ghassan bin Khalifa" that convicts or places him under suspicion, and there is no mere possibility that he committed a crime or has a relationship with terrorism or suspicious sites.

In this context, Skyline points out that the arrest of journalist "Ben Khalifa" is an unjustified continuation of the arrest and persecution of journalists. It also points out that a Tunisian military court detained journalist "Saleh Attia" - owner and editor of the local newspaper "Al-Rai Al-Jadeed" - three months after his conviction on vague and untrue charges on August 16 last year.

Skyline Human Rights Foundation believes that the arrest of journalist "Ben Khalifa" and the unjustified conviction of journalist "Atia" should be seen in the context of the campaign of escalating violations of freedoms, including freedom of expression and journalistic work, by the Tunisian authorities since President Kais Saied isolated all authorities in the country after announcing exceptional measures in July/July 2021.

Skyline also condemns the smear campaigns against numerous female journalists, journalists, bloggers, activists, and human rights defenders from sides affiliated with the authority without any action from the judiciary, although numerous lawsuits have been filed, reflecting the double standard of the authority.

At the end of its statement, Skyline calls on the Tunisian government to immediately and unconditionally release journalists imprisoned for their journalistic work or expression of opinion, to stop the prosecution of journalists and dissidents, and to put an end to policies aimed at silencing dissenters and critical voices by law.