Press and civil society in Tunisia silent after Ghannouchi sentencing, analysts suggest | Report from Freedom of the Press News

The Tunisian media did not heavily cover the sentencing of Rachid Ghannouchi, leader of the self-styled Muslim democrats, Ennahdha, and former speaker of parliament, to an additional three years’ imprisonment, indicating the extent of the president’s authoritarian reach, analysts say. Ghannouchi, 82, was sentenced with his son-in-law, former Foreign Minister Rafik Abdessalem, for receiving foreign funding, which is illegal under Tunisian law. The sentencing was mostly overlooked by Tunisian media and there was no mention of it on the country’s newsstands. President Kais Saied’s influence on the media has had a chilling effect on the national conversation, observers claim. His actions are seen as a return to authoritarianism and have caused a crackdown on his opponents, including journalists and political opponents. Ennahdha has no plans to appeal the verdict and the party has no intentions of paying the $1.17m fine. Supporters of the party believe that appealing the verdict or paying the fine would only serve to propagate Saied’s propaganda.

Leave a Comment