Finding light in a dark prison

On July 21, CPJ welcomed the release of Tunisian Internet journalist Slim Boukhdhir from prison. A contributor to Tunisian and Arab news Web sites, Boukhdhir was serving a one-year term in Sfax Prison because he had written articles critical of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and the country’s first family. CPJ sent a mission to Tunisia in early July, focusing the journalist’s case. Now Boukhdhir has sent us kind words from Tunis that we’d like to share:

“In addition to other positions adopted during my ordeal by people of good conscience throughout the world, CPJ’s stance was a badge of honor that I had been wearing in jail and CPJ’s solidarity lighted the darkness of my ordeal.”

Bouhkdhir also extended his “warm thanks” to CPJ’s Middle East senior program coordinator, Joel Campagna. Campagna was part of the delegation to Tunisia and had been advocating for Boukhdhir’s release since his arrest.

Boukhdhir ended his note this way: “I have great regard for your commitment to freedom of the press. Long live CPJ as a prosperous oasis to defend journalists and long live press freedom.”

He signed it, “Your brother, Slim Boukhdhir.”