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.

 

Turkey mulls military action against jihadists on its doorsteps

Palestinians to UN: Israel occupation must end in 2016

Assad: Countries that backed terrorism can't defeat jihadists

Retired US general says Syria rebel training could 'take years'

Foreign jihad lures Tunisia youth: About 3,000 in Syria alone

Settlements, Iran stir new discord between Netanyahu, Obama

Gazans turn war remains into art objects

Skeptical Netanyahu seeks Obama reassurances on Iran

Turkey pushes for long-term solution to ‘Islamic State’ crisis

Metamorphosis of Salim Benghalem: From weed-smoking clubber to US-wanted jihadist

Violence across Iraq kills at least 1,119 people in September

Bahrain court lifts travel ban on Maryam al-Khawaja

Israel, Palestinians agree on one thing: Futility of peace talks

Netanyahu to Ban Ki-moon: Probe into Gaza war ‘one-sided’!

Kurds battle to defend strategic border town in Syria

Iran Nobel laureate questions Tutu's silence on Dalai Lama visa row

Iraqi Kurds hope US-led air strikes can break stalemate

Libya militants vow to continue ‘military operations’

Argentine President charges US could kill her

IS jihadists close in on Turkish border

US troops to return to Mideast

Israel settlers forcefully occupy 25 homes in East Jerusalem

Gunmen wound Saudi policeman in Shiite village in Eastern Province

Erakat likens Netanyahu to leader of ‘Islamic State’

Voters to choose among 27 candidates in Tunisia presidential race

Iran offers military equipment to Lebanon army

Iran extends compulsory military service to 2 years

Frustration grows over Huthi occupation of Yemen capital

US-led air strikes pound ‘Islamic State’ near Syria border town

Britain plans action against extremism ‘in all its forms’

Vigilante groups terrorise Syria refugees in Lebanon

Kurd troops launch offensive on IS on three fronts

Balkans clamp down on jihadist recruitment

Syrian refugees try their luck in Latin America

Indian PM warns US to repeat Iraq 'mistake' in Afghanistan

Israel PM warns Iran poses gravest threat to world

Kuwait strips 18 nationals of citizenship

Ahead of Tunisia elections, Ghannouchi appeals for US support

Israel deploys extra forces as two faiths mark major holy days

Egypt, Libya plunge in good governance rating

Saudi Arabia breaks silence on Huthi occupation of Yemen capital

Air strikes fail to halt advance of IS jihadists in Syria

Rival Libya factions meet for reconciliation talks

Iran-P5+1 nuclear talks ‘to resume’ by mid-October

HRW criticises human rights rollback under Erdogan