Tunisian journalist freed after detention over 'state security'

Tunisian journalist freed after detention over 'state security'
Tunisian journalist Lotfi Hidouri has been freed after he was detained by authorities in connection to a plot against the state, according to reports.
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Thousands of demonstrators have been calling from the removal of Tunisian President Kais Saied, who has been accused attacking the people's freedom of expression and of undoing the country's hard-won democracy [Getty]

The editor of a Tunisian news website close to the Ennahdha party was released after being detained in relation to a company accused of plotting against the state, his lawyer said Tuesday.

Lotfi Hidouri, editor of the Achahed website, had been detained since Thursday. He appeared on Monday before a judge, who ruled he should be released, lawyer Samir Ben Amor told AFP.

Hidouri still faces prosecution, however, over allegedly suspicious transactions between a group that finances his operation and Instalingo, a digital content production firm.

Instalingo has been under investigation since last year for allegedly "plotting against state security" and "inciting violence", according to Tunisian media reports.

Ben Amor said Hidouri had "no administrative duties" at Achahed that could justify his prosecution.

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Ennahdha was the dominant force in a parliament dissolved by President Kais Saied after he sacked the government and seized wide-ranging powers last July.

Rights groups have warned that Saied's moves threaten the country's hard-won democratic gains since its 2011 revolution that sparked the Arab Spring uprisings.

In May, the SNJT journalists' union warned of "serious threats" to press freedom in the North African country.