Tunisian commentator Sonia Dahmani sentenced to 1 year in prison

Tunisian commentator Sonia Dahmani sentenced to 1 year in prison

New York, July 9, 2024 — The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by the sentencing Saturday by a Tunisian court of lawyer and political commentator Sonia Dahmani to one year in prison and calls for her immediate release.

“The sentencing of Tunisian lawyer and commentator Sonia Dahmani to one year in prison for her political comments is a gross injustice and demonstrates how President Kais Saied is targeting independent journalism ahead of October’s presidential elections,” said CPJ program director Carlos Martínez de la Serna. “Tunisian authorities must release Dahmani immediately and unconditionally, drop all charges against her, and allow journalists to work freely.”

The Tunis Court of First Instance sentenced on Saturday, July 6, the journalist and political commentator of the independent radio station IFM and the television channel Carthage Plus to one year in prison for spreading false news. Dahmani had been arrested on May 11 for political remarks she made on Carthage Plus earlier this month.

Tunisian authorities have made numerous political arrests in the run-up to the presidential election scheduled for October 6. On May 22, a Tunis court sentenced IFM journalists Borhen Bssais and Mourad Zghidi to one year in prison after finding them guilty of defamation and spreading false news over their political comments.

CPJ’s email to the Tunisian Interior Ministry did not receive a response.