13/05/2011 / TUNISIE –AFP
Four months after Ben Ali’s fall, freedom of the press still under threat in Tunisia
Screenshot of a video showing policemen entering the building of Tunisian newspaper “La Presse” on May 6.
Four months after a popular uprising overthrew Tunisia’s authoritarian president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, the country remains a difficult place for journalists to work. On May 6, a dozen reporters were assaulted by security forces while they were covering pro-democracy protests in the capital of Tunis. An amateur video shows police chasing a journalist into the headquarters of the country’s leading national newspaper, “La Presse”.
The scene was filmed from a neighbouring building. In the video, five police officers are seen running after Abdelfattah Belaïd, who is both a journalist at “La Presse” and a photographer for the French news agency AFP. They enter a building, at which point the person filming can be heard exclaiming “They are entering (the building of) La Presse!” AFP said that Belaïd and two of his colleagues were taking photos of pro-democracy demonstrators when the police charged at them and followed them into the newspaper’s building. In a separate statement, Belaïd said that he was hit with iron bars and clubs.