IFJ Condemns Repeated Assaults on Tunisian Journalist following Exposure of National Tragedy

May. 17, 2007

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today condemned the repeated assaults on Slim Boukhdir, a freelance reporter and member of the Syndicate of Tunisian Journalists.

Boukhdir was first attacked and beaten by plain clothes police agents on 3rd May, World Press Freedom Day, after reporting on the deaths of seven people in an accident during the Tunisian Star Academy concert. Yesterday he was attacked again while leaving the offices of the National Council for Freedom (CNLT).

These are shocking attacks on a journalist apparently taken in revenge for exposing a national tragedy, said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. The authorities must thoroughly investigate this case and bring the perpetrators to justice.

Boukhdir, a journalist and human rights activist who has been continuously harassed in recent years had recently written articles exposing the tragedy, in which seven people were crushed to death in a stampede during the Star Academy concert on 30th April. In his coverage of the event, released on MBC, Tunis News and Al Jazeera, he holds the event organizer, a relative of the wife of President Ben Ali, liable.

Boukhdir is regularly harassed and recognized yesterdays attacker from a group of security agents that often follow him.

For more information contact the IFJ at 32 2 235 2207
The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 100 countries worldwide.

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