Khalifa Guesmi

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Journalist Khalifa Guesmi is serving a five-year prison sentence on anti-state charges for publishing an article about terrorism in Tunisia. Guesmi was initially sentenced to one year in prison but in May a court increased his sentence to five years.

Guesmi is a reporter for local independent radio station Mosaique FM, and its news website, where he covers topics related to terrorism, corruption, and human rights in Tunisia.

Guesmi was initially arrested on March 18, 2022 in Kairouan and held for a week after authorities alleged that his reporting about the dismantling of a terrorist cell illegally disclosed information about government surveillance. On November 29, a court sentenced Guesmi to one year in prison. On May 16, 2023, an appeals court increased his sentence to five years.

Guesmi remained free until police arrested him on September 3, in the southern city of Kairouan, to serve his five-year sentence, according to a Mosaique FM statement, and news reports

Guesmi is currently being held at the Kairouan prison facility and his health appears to be stable, according to a colleague who is in touch with the journalist’s family and spoke on the condition of anonymity due to safety concerns.

CPJ emailed the Tunisian Ministry of Interior for comment on Guesmi’s case in late 2023 but did not receive any response.