Tunisia has released a cartoonist after brief detention for satirical drawings mocking the prime minister.
According to Asharq Al-Awsat and agencies, Tunisia’s public prosecutor, ordered the release of cartoonist Tawfiq Omrane, on 22 September, who had been briefly detained for his satirical drawings targeting the prime minister.
Omrane, known for his satirical cartoons featuring President Kais Saied, was questioned by authorities on suspicion of insulting the prime minister, with one of his drawings considered offensive.
Speaking to Diwan FM Tunisian radio, Omrane expressed his commitment to continuing his satirical artwork. Ahmed Hachani currently holds the position of prime minister, having been appointed last month to replace Najla Bouden.
For many Tunisians, freedom of speech is a vital reform achieved after the 2011 revolution that ousted President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
However, concerns have arisen among activists, journalists, and politicians about the erosion of this freedom.
Amira Mohamed, a senior official at the country’s Journalists’ Syndicate, remarked, “Omrane’s arrest underscores the authorities’ attempts to stifle critical voices concerning the president.”
Recently President Kais Saied recently criticized state TV, including its headline presentation during a speech, a move deemed as “blatant interference” by the Journalists Syndicate.
Saied has consistently denied accusations of curbing freedoms and maintains his stance against authoritarian rule.
Asharq Al-Awsat and agencies