First Published: 2013-04-06

 

Authorities in Tunisia ignore new court order: Sami Fehri remains in custody

 

Lawyer says he has met Justice Minister Nadhir Ben Ammou but that no solution has been found, adding he hopes issue might be resolved 'on Monday.'

 

Middle East Online

Media reeling under pressure from Ennahda

TUNIS - The authorities in Tunisia are refusing to free TV station owner Sami Fehri despite a new court order for his release, his lawyer said on Saturday, adding talks were under way with the justice ministry.

"It's a legal problem," Abdelaziz Essid said.

"The judges in the Court of Cassation said (on Friday) that Sami Fehri must be released, but the ministry has a different view. There's a contradiction: it is a legal problem that will have to be solved by legal means."

Fehri was detained in August last year in a move NGOs denounced as an attempt by the authorities to silence their critics.

Essid said he had met Justice Minister Nadhir Ben Ammou on Friday but that no solution had been found, adding he hoped the issue might be resolved "on Monday."

The lawyer said the minister, an independent in the Islamist-led coalition government who took office at the beginning of the month, was fully briefed on the situation.

"I am optimistic," Essid added.

The Court of Cassation first ruled that Fehri be freed last November, but he remained in custody.

In its latest ruling, the court also referred the case back to a lower court.

Fehri gave himself up to the authorities last August after being charged with "illegal use of Tunisian state television resources" during the rule of president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, at the risk of being jailed for 10 years.

His Ettounsiya television channel had aired a controversial satirical programme critical of the government.

Fehri, who founded Ettounsiya in March 2011, two months after the revolution swept Ben Ali from power, had been involved with a production company belonging to Belhassen Trabelsi, the former president's brother-in-law.

His detention last August caused uproar, notably because it came just days after he announced having pulled the satirical show "Guignols" (French for "puppets") under pressure from the Islamist party Ennahda, which heads the coalition government.

 

US denies everything agreed on Iran nuclear deal

Iraqi forces liberate Tikrit after month-long battle

Palestine officially joins ICC

Arab coalition bombards rebels in Yemen's Aden

Ancient Libyan treasures now in ISIS' sights

Money over power for Turkey and Iran

Yemen FM calls for coalition to send ground troops

ISIS captures Yarmuk refugee camp in Damascus

Israel to African migrants: Leave or face jail

Turkish authorities detain leftists

Gazans hope ICC will get justice for Israel’s 'war crimes'

Egypt president urges Huthi rebels to 'back off'

Armed group takes prosecutor hostage in Istanbul

Palestine must wait for its day in court

UN rights chief expresses alarm on Yemen situation

Suicide blast in Iraq on bus carrying Iranian pilgrims

Arab coalition pounds Yemeni capital

Iraq forces ‘retake’ government HQ in Tikrit

Massive power cut causes chaos across Turkey

Kuwait emir pledges $500 million at Syria donors conference

Iran nuclear talks enter their final day

Assad does not see Russia, Iran interests in Syria

Confidence in Tunisia ability to rebound as museum reopens to public

Iran claims US drone killed two military advisers in Iraq

Court finds ex-Israel Premier Olmert guilty in corruption retrial

Deadly air strike hits camp for displaced people in northwest Yemen

Erdogan insists on visit to Iran despite war-of-words

UN chief in Iraq for talks with top officials

UN warns of horrifying Syria 'catastrophe'

Iran asks for explanation on Erdogan comments

One day to Iran nuclear talks deadline

Yemen ex-president's son sacked as ambassador to UAE

At time of war, cigar business launched in Syria

Yemen Huthi rebels bombed for fifth night

Saudi police officers wounded in Riyadh drive-by shooting

World leaders show solidarity with Tunisia in march against extremism

Guarded optimism as Iran nuclear talks close in on deal

Dialogue remains distant as Arabs vow to defeat Iran 'puppet' in Yemen

Egypt renews calls for creation of joint military force at Arab summit

Saudi ambassador to return to Sweden after diplomatic spat

Libya forces ‘withdraw’ from frontline bases near oil ports

Qaeda seizes 'majority' of Syria northwestern city of Idlib

Torturous Iran talks move into top gear in battle of wills

UN Security Council keeps Libya arms embargo in place

Saudi-led airstrikes target arms depots in Yemen capital