Image: SNJT (Syndicat national des journalistes tunisiens) President Neji Bghouri speaking on Tuesday in Tunis on the recent death sentences Egyptian courts handed to three Al Jazeera journalists. Source: SNJT Facebook
Three suspects were arrested on Tuesday in Ariana for involvement in an armed burglary attempt on the home of the president of the National Union of Tunisian Journalists after an incident on Saturday, June 18.
Early on Tuesday, June 21, the Governor of Ariana, Mehdi Zaoui announced that three suspects with prior convictions had been arrested in their homes in relation to the incident. The Ministry of the Interior then announced later in the day that the three individuals, who were positively identified by Bghouri, had confessed to the attempted burglary adding that the suspects were being maintained in custody pending a hearing on the charges in the justice system.
On Saturday night the President of the National Union of Tunisian Journalists (SNJT-Syndicat national des journalistes tunisiens), Neji Bghouri, upon returning home discovered two intruders armed with knives, according to Bghouri’s account when confronted one of the intruders attempted to stab his son before fleeing.
When the SNJT announced the incident on its official Facebook page it noted that it was the third time Bghouri’s home had been broken into and expressed a growing concern that ‘It appears that the reasons that go beyond mere stealing.’
The North African chapter of Reporters Without Borders (RSF-Reporters sans frontières) publicly signaled its awareness of the incident when it tweeted its support for Bghouri.
— RSF_NordAfrique (@RSF_NordAfrique) June 20, 2016
With a score of 38.68/100 (0 being the best possible score and 100 the worst) on RSF’s Press Freedom Index 2015 Tunisia moved up 30 spots from 126th to 96th out of 180 countries between 2015 and 2016, in a year which saw a “deep and disturbing decline” globally according to RSF.
RSF noted that ‘Arbitrary arrest and imprisonment has ended but Tunisian journalists continue to be subjected to harassment of many kinds.’ such as ‘defamation charges [that] are often brought against journalists who cause trouble, although the charges are rarely followed by trials.’ adding ‘self-censorship continues to be widespread’.