A renowned Tunisian journalist, Zied El-Heni, was given a six-month suspended prison sentence and released on Wednesday evening, January 10, his lawyer told AFP.

He had been placed under arrest warrant on January 1 awaiting his trial, accused of having “harmed the person” of the Minister of Commerce, Kalthoum Ben Rejeb, during a radio program that he regularly hosts.

Mr. Heni has been well known since his active participation in the revolution that brought down dictator Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali in January 2011 and kicked off the Arab Spring throughout the region.

“Deep concern”

Around twenty journalists are currently the subject of prosecution in Tunisia, two of whom are in detention.

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) denounced the arrest of Mr. Heni carried out under “Decree 54” which punishes with a prison sentence of up to ten years those accused of disseminating “false news”. .

At the end of June, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, expressed “his deep concern” about attacks on freedoms in Tunisia, in particular freedom of the press.