Tunisia: the Anger of Publishers at the Book Fair after a Visit by President Saïed

maryam lahbal
maryam lahbal
2 Min Read
Book Fair

The Tunis book fair opened this Friday, April 28th. An edition marked by a movement of anger from the publishers. Consequently, several of them have decided to stop their activities on-site in response to the closure of the stand of one of their colleagues, which was displaying a book critical of President Kaïs Saïed.

Barely had President Kaïs Saïed finished inaugurating the book fair when a piece of news went around the Tunis fair in few minutes. “There was a decision to close a stand of a Tunisian publisher, explains Mohamed Riadh Ben Abderrazak, president of the Union of Tunisian Publishers. They removed a title and then they decided to close the publisher’s stand. Without any argument. »

According to the sanctioned publisher, it is the Ministry of Culture that is at the origin of this seizure. Signed by the Tunisian Kamel Riahi, the book in question is called “The Frankenstein of Tunisia”. The book looks back on the accession to power of President Kaïs Saïed. As a sign of solidarity with their sanctioned colleague, several Tunisian publishers have decided to lower the curtain as well. As explained by Bayrem Marzouk, himself a publisher. “For your information, the publisher in question has a license that allows him to sell this boo,k and the title of this work appears there. It’s an offensive against the book, all for a cover on which we see a caricature of the President, just for that. Today it is the publishers who are the target, tomorrow it will be you, the journalists. »

Some worried editors confided that this episode reminded them of the worst hours of the Ben Ali era. A seizure that risks being counterproductive. On social networks, many Tunisians have shared the front cover of the incriminated book and are now trying to obtain it.

Maryam Lahbal

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