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Al Jazeera journalist expelled from meeting, attacked

(ANHRI/IFEX) - Cairo, 27 March 2012 - ANHRI condemns the physical assault against the director of Al Jazeera's office in Tunisia, Lotfi Hajji. The incident occurred on 24 March while he was covering a meeting bringing together a group of parties at Monastir hall.

Hajji received an official invitation to cover the meeting of more than 50 parties representing different political currents, and was shocked when he was expelled from the meeting by some of the participants claiming he has a different political approach. He was also severely assaulted outside the hall.

"The attack against any member of the press while performing his/her job is unfortunate and a clear violation of freedom of the press. Furthermore, this attack is also a violation of a citizen's right to voice his/her opinions, and is therefore a violation of free expression as well," stated ANHRI.

ANHRI added: "The violations against freedom of the press and media in Tunisia are still ongoing despite the end of the era of the tyrant Ben Ali."

ANHRI calls on the Tunisian authorities to hold accountable all those involved in the attack on the press, and urges them to commit to upholding the rule of law and protecting freedom of opinion and expression.

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