Tunisia detains a journalist who criticized police, and is the second country to be held in a month

Tunisia detains a journalist who criticized police, and is the second country to be held in a month ...

TUNIS, April 14 (Reuters) - A Tunisian court on Thursday arrested a journalist who criticised police and the interior minister, according to the main media union, denouncing a loss in freedom of expression since President Kais Saied took executive power last summer.

Chahrazed Akacha was the second journalist to be imprisoned within a month, after another was sentenced for a week in March for publishing a story about militants.

Akacha's arrest is based on a Facebook post in which she criticised the interior minister and accused police of insulting and beating her in the street last week, according to the union.

After she said she beat her, insulted her, and removed her veil, Akacha urged the interior minister to control his police officers.

The police and the interior ministry were not immediately available for comment.

After the 2011 revolution that ended the rule of former Prime Minister Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, improved speech and press freedoms were a significant gain for Tunisians.

After President Saied seized executive power and placed the constitution aside to rule by decree, a democratic system adopted after the revolt is in a deep crisis. This is a strategy called a coup.

Saied dissolved the parliament last month, causing widespread outrage at home and abroad.

Saied, who became a law professor when he started appearing on media outlets to discuss the constitution after 2011, claims to respect all rights and not becoming a dictator.

Critics claim that his actions, which include the reorganization of a body that guaranteed judicial independence, demonstrate that he is determined to strengthen one-man rule.

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