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HomeWorldThe book "Frankenstein Tunisia" was confiscated for criticizing President Kais Saied

The book “Frankenstein Tunisia” was confiscated for criticizing President Kais Saied


And the closure of his publishing house’s pavilion at the Tunis International Book Fair.

On Friday, the Tunisian authorities confiscated a book criticizing President Kais Saied and closed the publishing house’s pavilion at an international book fair, according to what the writer and publisher told Agence France-Presse. This came shortly after Saied emphasized the importance of “liberating thought.”

Dar Al-Kitab, author of “Frankenstein Tunisia, Reflections on Tunisian Political Affairs during the Kais Saied Era” by Tunisian novelist Kamal Al-Riahi, presented during the 37th session of the Tunis International Book Fair, which kicked off on Friday in the presence of President Kais Saied, and adopted the slogan “Let’s fly with the wings of the book.”

Local media quoted a video clip of Saeed during the opening of the exhibition, in which he says, “What is important is the liberation of thought, because we cannot achieve anything in light of a rigid thought.”

For his part, Kamal Al-Riahi told AFP in a phone message, “I was informed of the confiscation of the book and the closure of the booth in the book fair today.”

In turn, the owner of the publishing house, Habib Al-Zoghbi, confirmed to France Press that “men from the security of the Ministry of Culture came and confiscated the book and closed the pavilion after Saeed’s visit” during the opening of the exhibition, accompanied by Tunisian and foreign ambassadors and ministers.

On the cover of the book is a picture of a fictional character, “Frankenstein of Tunisia”.

A video clip published by the “Dar Al-Kitab” showed pictures of the closed wing and wrote, “This wing is closed by an arbitrary decision.”

In a solidarity movement, at least five other publishing houses closed their sections at the fair.

The publishing house printed 100 copies of the book, twenty of which were confiscated, while the rest were sold.

The authorities justified the decision by “claiming possession of an unauthorized book,” according to Al-Zoghbi, who runs one of the most important publishing houses in the country. The Ministry of Culture did not issue an explanation on the matter.

Al-Riahi added, “The book is political and has been pursued since the days of its publication, and they (the authorities) are looking for a reason to ban it.”

The book consists of a collection of articles about the rule of Qais Saeed and “the collapse of freedoms, tracking the coup day by day and analyzing the personality of the president from a cultural point of view. Part of the book goes back to before he came to power,” according to Al-Riahi, who resides in Canada.

Saied has monopolized the authorities in Tunisia since 2021, and proposed a new constitution that was approved through a referendum. He also held parliamentary elections after he dissolved the previous legislative council.

The Tunisian president is facing widespread criticism for restricting freedoms and liquidating his political opponents, after party leaders and influential figures who oppose him were arrested.

Kamal Al-Riahi, 49, is a Tunisian writer, novelist, and journalist who teaches creative writing at a university in Canada. He has published 15 critical books and novels, including “The Scalpel” in 2006 and “The Gorilla” in 2011.

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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