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Law 22 on the Press (no longer in force)

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PRESS LAW 1
28 April 1975

PRESS LAW

In the name of People
We, Alhabib Bourkibah, President of the Republic of Tunisia,
Following approval of the Parliament,

Promulgate the following law:

Article (1):
Text published below relates to the printing, publication, selling of books and journalism was
compiled under one title “Press law ”. (2)

Article (2):
As of the effective date of the e ntry of the press law into force, all previous provisions
contradicting to these new provisions, e specially the order dated 9 February 1956 related to
printing and press are hereby canceled. (3)

This law shall be published in the official gazette of the Republic of Tunisia and shall be
implemented as a law of the state.

Issued at Kurtag Palace 28 April 1975.

President of the Tunisian Republic
Alhabib Bourkibah

CHAPTER ONE:
LEGAL DEPOSITION

Article (1):
Freedom of press, publication, distribution and sale of books is guaranteed and
shall be exercised pursuant to the controls contained in this law .

Article (2):
The following is subject to legal deposition:
1. All printed items of all kinds including all books, publications, periodicals,
drawings, pictured items, ornamental postal cards, scripts, geographical maps,
leaflets, calendars, magazines and others.
2. The following works: M usical, sound and video recordings, photographs and
information software which is put in the hands of public in a paid or free of
charge mann er or those delivered for the purpose of re -publishing.

Article (3):
The following items are not subject to legal deposition provided for in the previous
article:
 Administrative printed materials such as forms, standard formats, i nvoices,
list s and registers…etc.
 Small publicat ions called “city publications” such as messages, invitation
and notification cards, addresses, visit cards, envelopes …etc.
 Commercial publications such as presentations, cards, signs, sample
cards…etc.
 Electoral cards and financial receipts

(last paragraph): “news publications in national newspapers are not subject to
legal deposition provisions such as:
 Daily and periodic newspapers
 Periodical press journals (3)

Article (4):
Legal deposition sha ll be carried out by the printing house, producer, publisher or
distributor pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.

Article (5): Deposited counterparts must correspond to those published, oriented,
made, offered for sale, lease, distribution for promotion or republished in a
condition that allows maintenance of the same.

Article (6): All writings indicated by article (2) above must be registered in special
books either by the printer, producer, publisher or distributer as appropriate and
eac h registration shall have a serial num ber in a non intermitted series. (4)

Article (7): The mention s that must appear on all counterpart s of the same
produced work in Tunis ia and submitted to the legal deposit ion as well as the
models of registration on the registe rs of works are determin ed by a decree.

Article (8): The deposit ion by the printer of any periodical work should be made in
twenty samples with the Ministry of Information for the provinces of Tunis ia,
Ariana, Ben Arous and Manouba and at the headquarters of the province for the
other provinces in order to distribute t hem to the relevant departments. A
deposit ion by the printer of any non periodical printed work is made in one
counterpart with the territorial competent Public Prosecutor’s O ffic e and in seven
counterpart s with the Ministry of Culture (one of these counterpart s shoul d be
addressed to the House of R epresentatives and another counterpart to the
Ministry of Interior and four counterpart s to the national library.

When the matter is related to a musical composition or musical phonic
registrations produce d or reproduced in the Tunisia the deposit ion shall be by their
composer in one counterpart with the Arab and Mediterranean Musical Center
before releas ing them to t he public.

The deposit ion is effected by the producer in relation to other works in one
counterpart with the territorial competent republican agency and in six

counterparts with the Ministry of Culture ( one of these counterparts is allocated to
the Minis try of Interior and four counterparts to the national library).

If the work is printed, produced or reproduced abroad but publication is ef fected in
the Tunisian territories the deposit ion is entrusted to the publisher in accordance
with the conditions provided by the previous paragraphs in relation to those who
assume printing or production.

When the matter is related to a work which the performance necessitates the
collaboration of several specialists the deposit ion is the duty of the one who
performed the last work before releasing to the disposition of the public.

In case of total or partial non performance of the said deposit ion indicated by this
article it may be possible to revert to the market to purchase the counterparts not
deposited at the e xpense of the physical or moral person who must have
performed the legal deposit ion . (5)

Art icle (9): The distributer perform s the legal deposit ion for everyt hing printed or
produced item abroad, entered to the Tunisian territories and expressly released to
the public for sale, lease or distribution before releasing the same to the disposal of
the public.

One counterpart of all non periodical works issued abroad and entered to the
Tunis ian territories should be deposited with the Republic Agency in Tunis, one
counterpart with the Ministry of Interior and one with the Ministry of Culture.

If the matter is related to musical composition or phonetic registrations produced
abroad and enter ed to the Tunisian territories the dis tributer must deposit one
counterpart with the Arab or Mediterranean Musical Center before puttin g them
to the disposal of the public. (6)

Article (10): The modalities of application for legal disposition shall be de termined
by a decree (7)

Article (11 ): (8)
Article (12): A fine ranging between TD 200 to TD 400 and TD 400 to TD 800 in
case of repetition shall be applied to whoever violates the duties imposed thereto
in accordance with the provisions of this article and the provisions enacted for
application.

Furthermore, whatever has been published or entered to the Tunisian territories in
violation of the above provisions may be seized in accordance with a decision of
the Minister of Interior after having the opinion of the Min ister of Culture, the
Secretary of State in the Cabinet charged with I nformation pursuant to the
competence of each.

The court may consider permitting the confiscation of counterpart s ill ega lly put
under the disposal of the public. (9)

CHAPTER TWO:
PERIODICAL PUBLICATI ONS

SECTION ONE
NATIONAL PUBLICATION S (5)

Article (13): Before the publication of any periodical a notification drafted on a
stamped paper and signed by the director of the periodical is submitted to the
Minister of Information with a receipt thereof.

The notification should provide the following:
One: Title of the periodical and periodicity
Two: Name, surname , nationality and domic ile of the publisher
Three : The printing house in which it shall be printed
Four : The language or languages in which it shall be edited
Five : Place and number of registration in the Commercial Register
Six: Names, surnames, professions and domiciles of the memb ers of the Board of
Directors or the managing body and in general the manage rs of the moral entity.

Any change effected on the above data shall be notified within the five following
days.

To this notification the following is added:
– Extract from the judicial registry dated back less than three months
– Justification of satisfy ing the legal formalities of incorporation in case of a
company

The Ministry of Interior refers to the State Secr etariat of Information and the
General Prosecution copies of the notification together with mentioning all
documents provided by the concerned.

Article (14): Before printi ng of any periodical the printing house must ask for the
receipt delivered by the Ministry of Interior which the date of delivery must not
exceed on e year (10)

Article (14) b is – Each change of the printing house in which the periodical is
printed in accordance to the requirements of article (14) of this law may not be
performed except after a notification to the Ministry of Interior by a registered
letter with acknowledgement of receipt five days before such a change is effected
(11)

Article (15): The same physical or moral person may own, control or manage
maximum two periodical s of political and general information of the same
periodicity.

Additionally, the global edition of the owned, controlled or managed periodicals by
the same person within the conditions provided by paragraph (1) above may not
exceed 30% of the overall edition of the periodicals of political and general
information of the same periodicity published in Tunis ia. (12)

Article (15) bis – Each director of a general information periodical must establish at
any time that he employ s full time journalists holders of the national professional
card and either a diploma in journalism and information science issued by a higher

Tunisian establishment of education or an equivalent recognized diploma of the
same specialization .

The number of these employees must be at least equal to half of the permanen t
editorial staff employed in each publication.

For printing houses employing one or two full time persons in the edition one of
them must be obligatorily a holder o f a diploma in the sense of paragraph one of
this article. (13)

Article (16): Each periodical must have a director. The director must be a holder of
Tunisian nationality with real domicile in Tunisia, enjo ying civil and political rights .
When the periodical is published by a moral person the director must be selected
as appropriate from among the members o f the board of directors or the
administration body.

However, when the same person holds the majority of the capital of the company
publishing the periodical this person is obligatorily the director of the periodical.
(14)

Article (1 7): In case of infraction of th e dispositions provided by artic les (13 ) to
(16 ) of this code the proprietor, dire ctor or printer shall be punish ed in a fine of TD
120 to TD 1200. The periodical may not continue publication except after
satisfaction of the formalities prescribed by articles (13 ) to (16 ) under penalty, if
the irregular publication continues, of a fine of TD 240 pronounced jointly against
the same persons for each published issue starting the day of pronouncing the
verdict of conviction if this verdict is in presence and from the third day subsequent
to his notification if the verdict is issued in absentia notwithstanding any appeal or
protest and the court may additionally order the suspension of the periodical.

The convicted has the right of appeal even in absentia which is decided by the
appeal court within ten days.

Article (18): Each periodical must make the public aware of the nam es of those in
the managem ent . Fu rthermore, each periodical must mention its ed ited number
on all its cou nterpart s drawn at each publication. On another part it must publish
its annual budget, the expenditure account and the final results in the 1 st of July o f
the following year in which it completed its operations .

Each issue published in violation of one of these provisions of this article shall be
liable to a fine of one hundred Tunisian Dinar (100) to one thousand (1000)
Tunisian Dinar. (15)

Article (19): All proprietors , associates , shareholders or funders and others
contributing to the financial life of the periodical who have no precise scientific,
artistic or technical character must be of a Tunisian nationality.

Each person whose name is established to be lent in any manner whatsoever to a
proprietor or funder of a publication shall be fined an amount of TD 10,000 to TD
40,000 and the penalty shal l extend to include the principal perpetrators and their
associates. Additionally, the court may order the suspension of the publication.

In case the operation of ” lent name ” is com mitted by a compan y or association
the penal responsibility provided by this article shall extend to the chairman of the
board of directors, manager or to the directors according to the type of the
company or association. (16)

Article (20): Each periodical must decide for a period of three months a tariff for
its advertisement for a sole periodical , if necessary, and the tariff of advertisement
associated with several periodicals which should be communicate d to every
interested person. The advertiser may adopt the tariff of his choice. It is prohibited
to practice a tariff different of that decided for a period of three months.

Article (21): The infractions of article 20 shall be penalized in a fine of one
hundred TD (100) to one thousand TD (1000) (17)

Article (22): Subject to other conditions required by the applicable legislation the
act by a proprietor, director or a collaborator of a periodical of receiving directly or
indirectly funds or advantages from a physical or moral person of a foreign
natio nality with the exceptions of those resulting from subscription or expressly
agreed by the Secretary of State for Information and funds allocated for the
payment of advertisement in conformity with article (20) of this regulation shall be
penalized by one to five years of imprisonment and a fine of TD 200 to TD 2000 or
only one of these two penalties which shall be applied against the perpetrator,
collaborator or accomplice in such an act.

Article (23): Each advertisement in the form of an article must be preceded or
followed by an indication of “advertisement” or an indication of “communiqué”
and must have an introduction which distinct it from the remaining articles. Any
infringement of these provisions shall be penalized by a fine of two thousand
(2000) Tunisian Dinar s.

The act by the proprietor and director of or collaborator with a periodical of
receiving an amount of money or any other advantage with the objective to
disguise advertisement with information is pena lized in a fine equivalent to the
received amount without being less in all cases of 50,000 dinars.

Whoever has received that amount or that advantage and whoever consents
thereto shall be penalized as principal perpetrators. (18)

Article (23) bis – Any borrowed article in whole or in par t in its original language or
translated must be a ccompanied with a reference to its source. Any infringement
of the provisions of this article shall be considered as literary theft which shall be
penalized in a fine of one hundred (100) to one thousand (1 000) dinars. (19)

SECTION TWO
FOREIGN PUBLICATIONS
Article (24): All works whether periodical s or not whatever their language of
expression may be which are issued abroad or edited by a corporation which has

an office in Tunisia but with a wholly or partially foreign owned capital are
considered foreign with regard to this code . (20)

Article (25): The publication, introduction and circulation in Tunisia of foreign
works, either periodical or not may be prohibited by a decision of the Minister of
Interior after having the opinion of the Secretary of State with the Prime Minister
assign ed with information.

SECTION THREE
RECTIFICATION AND RI GHT OF RESPONSE
Article (26): The director of publication is obligated to insert free of charge at the
top of the next issue of the periodical all rectifications addressed thereto by one of
the public authority officials in relation to acts of his function which were inexactly
reported by the periodical.

In case of refusal of insertion the director of publication shall be fined in an amount
of 24 to 240 dinars

Article (27): The director of the publication shall be obligated to insert the replies
of each person who was expressly or i mplicitly targeted subject to a fine of 12 to
120 dinars without prejudice to other pe nalties and damages and advantages to
which the infraction may give rise.

In order to do this the delay is 3 days for the daily publications and in the following
issue of the day after tomorrow for the non daily publications. The delay starts
from the date of receiving the replies.

Article (28): This insertion shall be made in a place where the readers shall be
surely informed in the same letters as the article which provoked it without any
intercalation.

Without considering the familiar addre ss, greetings, introductions and signature
which shall never be counted in the reply this shall be limited to the length of the

article which provoked it. Yet, it may not excee d two hundred lines even though
this article may have been longer.

Article (29): The reply shall be always free of charge and mandatory in the edition
and editions in which the article is published. It may be sent by a registered letter.

Article (30): The below provisions are applicable to replies where the journalist
associates the reply with new comments.

Article (31): The courts assume putting a limit to the right of response whenever it
becomes evident that the response terms are in violation of t he law and the good
conduct and the legal interest of the others or the honor and respect of the
journalist.

Article (32): The deletion of the response in any of the editions of an issue which
should have been published therein is considered as refusal a nd the perpetrator is
penalized in the same penalties apart from claiming damages.

The court decides wi thin the ten days following the date in which the case is filed
or from the summons on the complaint of the refusal of insertion. It might decide
that the verdict order the insertion but in relation to the sole insertion it shall be
executed immediately after drafting apart from contest or appeal. If there is appeal
it should be c onstituted within the ten days of submission of the statement to the
clerk’s office of the court.

Article (33): However, within the election period the three days delay provided by
the insertion in article (27) is reduced to twenty four hours in relation to the daily
newspapers . The reply must be delivered six hours at least before printing the
newspaper in which the reply is intended to be published . Immediately after
opening the electoral period the director of the publication is obligated to inform
the office of the public prosecutor of the time in which he wants to proceed in
printing his newspaper within the above period otherwise he shall be liable to
pen alties provided by article (27)at the hour in which during this period he intends
to start the edition of his journal. The delay of convocation for refusal of insertion

is reduced to twenty four hours and the convocation may be delivered from one
hour to another by a permission issued by the president of the primary court. The
verdict ordering the i nsertion shall be executive. But in relation to this insertion
alone it shall be executable immediately after writing the draft of the verdict
notwithstanding contest or appeal . In case the insertion so ordered is not
performed within the twenty four hour s as from the pronouncement of the verdict
the director of the newspaper shall be liable to a penalty of imprisonment of 16
days to three months and a fine of 200 to 2400 dinars or one of the penalties only.

Article (34): The case related to forced insertion is prescribed within six months
period. T his period commences as from the coming out of the newspaper in which
the reply should have been publis hed in accordance with the above provisions. (21)

CHAPTER THREE
POSTING ON THE WALLS , MOVEMENT AND S ALE ON THE PUBLIC ROAD
Article (35) : (22)
Article (36 ): (23)
Article (37 ): (24)
Article (38) : (25)
———————————–
Article (39) : (26)
Article (40) : (27)
Article (41) : (28)

CHAPTER FOUR
CRIMES, OFFENSES COMMITTED BY THE PRESS AND BY ALL OTHER MEANS OF
PUBLICATION

Section 1 : Instigation of crimes and offenses:
Article (42): The y shall be punished as accomplices in actions described as a crime
or offense in the sense of article (43) and the following articles those who directly
and intentionally instigate one or several persons to commit the said action if the

instigation is followed by an act. This provision is also applicable if the instigation is
only followed by an attempt of a crime provided by article (5 9) of the penal code.

Article (43): Whoever instigates by one of the means stated by the precedent
article whether on the crimes of theft, killing, robbery, fire or any of the crimes or
offenses penalized by articles 208 to 219 of the penal code or to on e of the crimes
or offenses against the external security of the State shall be penalized in case this
instigation is not fol lowed by an act by 5 years imprisonment and a fine of 100 to
2000 dinars and this without prejudice to the application of article ( 32) of the penal
code. These provisions are also applicable on whoever directly instigates by the
above said means on committing any of the crimes against the internal security of
the State provided by articles 63, 64, 67 and 80 of the penal code .

The sa me penalty is applied to whoever threats with the same means by crimes of
killing, robbery, fire, theft or the crimes provide d by articles 304, 305 and 306 o f
the penal code or the crimes of war or collaboration with the enemy.

Article (44): A penalty of imprisonment for two to three months and a fine of
1000 to 2000 dinars is applied to whoever calls by the above means in article (42)
to hate between races, religions, population or dissemination of opinion based on
discrimination, religious e xtremism or instigate committing the offenses provided
by article (48) or incite people to violate the laws of the country. (29).

Article (45): (30)
Article (46): If, for infractions of articles 42 to 44 the co urt has pronounced a
conviction of impr isonment penalty without suspension it may additionally decide
depriving the convicted from being neither elector or electable for a period not to
exceed five years. As soon as this verdict becomes definitive it shall result in the
lapse of the current ele ctive mandate.

Article (47): An imprisonment penalty of one to five years and a fine of 1000 to
2000 dinars is applied against any provocation by any of the means stated by
article (42) addressed to the soldiers with the objective of prompting them to
ne glect their military duties and disobey their superiors in all orders to them to

implement orders and military obligations or to pre vent the youth from
conscription or delay of conscription in the military service or prevent those who
are not yet called to military service but who shall be called in accordance with the
con scription law not to abide by their military duties.

SECTION TWO
OFFENCES COMMITTED A GAINST THE PUBLIC OR DER
Article (48): The offense against t he President of the Republic committed by any
of the means stated under article (42) of this regulation is penalized by
imprisonment of 1 to 5 years and a fine of 1000 to 2000 dinars.

Whoever commits an offense by t he described means against any of the w orships
which practicing is permitted shall be penalized by imprisonment of three months
and a fine of 100 to 2000 dinars. (32)

Article (49): The publication, diffusion or reproduction by any means whatsoever
of false news, fabricated or falsified papers attributed to others wh en commit ted
by bad intention, trouble of the public order or susceptible to trouble it shall be
penalized by two to three months imprisonment and a fine of 100 to 2000 dinars
or by only one of these two penalties.

Section three : Offenses against persons
Article (50): Any public allegation or attribution that may dishonor or disgrace a
person or an official body’s prestige shall be deemed defamation of character . The
declaration of such allegation or reference whether directly or through quoting
shall be punishable even if it was mentioned in the form of probability or was
meant to refer to a person or official body who se name was not expressly stated.
However, it can be understood from the content of expressions in speeches , cal ls,
threats, writings, publications posters , drawings or contested declarations.

Article (51): Imprisonment of one to three years and a fine of 120 to 1200 dinars
is applied to the perpetrator by any of the means indicated by article (42) of this
regulat ion of defamation aga inst judicial authority, land, sea and air armies, official
authorities and the public departments. (33)

Article (52): The same punishment is applied for defamation not being proven
committed by the same means indicated above because of their functions or their
capacity against a member or several members of the government , one deputy or
several deputies for their plan or capacity or against a deputy or a number of
deputies of the parliament, public employee, guardian, public authority servant ,
assistant in the public authority, a citizen assigned a public concern or mandate
whether temporary or permanent or a witness because he delivered his witness.

Puni shment applied may not be less than the minimum limit provided by the
precedent paragraph.

Additionally, the court may authorize the publication of the content of its verdict
on the columns of a weekly newspaper on the expense of the convicted person .
(34)

Article (53): The defamation committed against the private persons by any of the
means set out in article (42) of this code and without prejudice to the provisions of
article (87) of the code of obligations and contracts shall be punished by
imprisonment of 16 days to 6 months and a fine of 120 to 1200 dinars or only by
one of these two penalties.

The defamation committed by the same means against a group of persons not
desig nated by this article but who pertain by their origin to a race or a certain
religion shall be punishable by imprisonment of one month to one year and a fine
of 120 to 1200 dinars when the objective is to provoke hate between the citizens
or the habitants. (35)

Article (54): Each outrageous expression, term of disdain or abuse not including
any charge of a precise act is an insult.

The insult committed by the stated means in article (42) against the official bodies
or persons designated by articles 51 and subseq uent articles of this code when it is
not preceded by a pro vocation shall be punishable by imprisonment of sixteen days

to three months and a fine of 120 to 1200 dinars. The pronounced penalty may not
be reduced below the minimum provided by the precedent paragraph. The penal ty
of imprisonment shall be one year ma ximum and a fine of 1200 dinars when the
abuse is committed by the same described means against a group of persons who
do not pertain by their origin to a race or a particular religion and this with the
objective of provoking hate between the citizens or t he habitants. (35)

Article (55): The provisions of articles (51) and (54) of this code shall not be
applicable to defamations or insults targeting the memorials of the dead except in
cases where the perpetrators of these defamations or insults have the in tention of
dishonoring or prejudicing the consideration of the live heirs, wives or the universal
legates.

The live heirs, wives or legates shall be entitled to exercise the right of respon se
provided by article (27) of this code whether this defamation, insult, dishonoring or
consideration prejudice is intentional or unintentional.

Article (56): (36)
Article (57): The act of defamation may be evidenced by the ordinary methods
when the act is relative to functions in the case whe n the allegation concerns the
official bodies, the land, sea or air armies, the pub lic administration or to all the
persons provided by article (52) of this code .

The defamatory act may only be evidenced when the act is relative to functions
and may also be established against the directors and managers of all industrial,
commercial or financial companies which publicly depend on the funds of saving or
credit.

The act of defamation may not be evidenced in the following cases:
a- When the attributed allegation is related to the private life of the person
b- When the allegation refers to matters which date back to more than ten
years
c- When the allegation refers to a matter constituting an infraction amnestied
or prescribed or a punishment covered by rehabilitation .

In the cases provided by paragraphs 1 and 2 of this article the contrary proof may
be produced. If the defamatory act is e stablished the pursuit may be stopped.
When the ascribed act is the subject of a penal pursuit assumed by the public
prosecutor or by virtue of a complaint from the accused the procedures of pursu it
and prosecution in the defamation offense shall be suspen ded pending the
completion of the investigation which must be conducted. (37)

Article (58): Any reproduction of an accusation rul ed as defamatory shall be
accused as an act of bad intention except proven otherwise .

SECTION FOUR
OFFENSES COMMITTED AGAINST THE PRESIDEN TS OF STATES AND FOREIGN DIPLOMAT IC CORPS
Article (59): The open offensive committed against the Presidents of States and the
foreign governments members shall be punished by an imprisonment of three
months to one year and a fine of 120 to 2000 dinars or by one of these two
punishments only.

Article (60): The committed open assault against the diplomatic missions ‘ ch iefs
and other personnel accredited with the government of the Republic of Tunisia
shall be punished by imprisonment of s ixteen days to one year and a fine of 120 to
1200 dinars or by one of these two punishments only.

SECTION FIVE
THE PROHIBITED PUBLI CATIONS AND THE IMMU NITY OF THE DEFENSE
Article (61): (38)
Article (62): (39)

Article (63): It is prohibited to publish a decision of accusation and all other
decisions of penal procedure before th ey are read in a public session and this act
lies under punishment of a fine of 120 to 1200 dinars.

The same penalty is applied to whoever publishes the reproduction by any means
particularly by photography, engraving, design, portrait films of all or part of the

circumstances of a crime or offense provided by articles (201) to (240) inclusive of
the penal code.

However, there is no offense when the publication is made by a written request of
the magistrate assigned the investigation. This request shall be annexed to the file
of the investigation.

Arti cle (64): It is prohibited to give information about any lawsuit s of defamation
in the cases provided by paragraphs a, b, c, and d of article (57) of this code as well
as the lawsuit s related to cases of evidence of affiliation, divorce and abortion. This
prohibition is inapplicable to verdicts that may be alway s published by
authorization of the judicial authority.

In all civil cases the courts and panels may prohibit the account of lawsuit s. It is also
prohibited to account the internal deliberations of the courts and panels. During
the progress of debates an d in the halls of the sessions of tribunals the utilization
of sonic registration devices, photographic devices or cinema tographic devices is
prohibited except with permission of the competent judicial authority.

It is proh ibited to account any lawsuit s o f defamation in the cases provided by
paragraphs a, b, and c of article (57) of this code as well as debates of lawsuit s in
acknowledgement of affiliation, divorce and abortion. This prohibition is
inapplicable to verdicts that may always be published but with permission of the
judicial authority.

In all civil cases the courts and tribunals may prohibit the deta iled publication of
lawsuits . It is also prohibited to account the internal deliberations of the courts and
tribunals during the progress of discu ssions and in the halls of the sessions of
tribunals, the utilization of sonic registration devices, photographic devices or
cinematographic devices is prohibited except with permission given by the
competent judicial authority.

Any violation of the prov isions of this article shall be punished by a fine of 120 to
1200 dinars together with confiscation of the used means in this act. (40)

Article (65): It is prohibited to publicly open or announce subscriptions having the
objective to indemnify the fines, expenses and damages pronounced for judicial
convictions in penal matters under penalty of imprisonment of sixteen days to six
months and a fine of 120 to 1200 dinars or one of these two penalties only.

Article (66): The account in good faith of the public sessions of the national
assembly do es not give rise to any action.

The faithful account, act of good faith of the judicial debates neither give rise to
any action of defamation, abuse or insu lt nor the speeches pronounced or written
before the tribunals.

However, the magistrates undertaking the case who consider the substance may
declare the dismissal of speeches implying blaspheme, insult or defamation and
rule , if necessary, damages to the person who sustained the condemned act .

However, defamation act s in the case of the victim may give rise to a civil action if
the court reserve his right and other parties may in all cases raise a civil action.

Article (67): if there is conviction the magistrate may within the cases provided by
articles (43) to (47) of this code and article (81) of the military justice code
pronounce the confiscation of the writings, prints, advertisement boards, designs,
posting bills, films, discs , magnetic bands and other incriminated and order the
seizure, the aboli tion or the destruction of all copies which will be placed for sale ,
distributed or exposed to the public.

However, the abolition or the destruction may not be applied except on certain
parts of the seized copies.

Without prejudice to the provisions of the penal code in relation to offenses of
blackmail all conviction of repetition of blackmail shall entail the abolition of the
pursued written periodical.

The printin g, the fabrication, placing for sale or distribution of the abolished
publication or reproduction are punishable in a fine of 120 to 1200 dinars.

CHAPTER FIVE
CONSEQUENCES AND PEN ALTIES

SECTION ONE
PERSONS RESPONSIBLE FOR CRIMES AND OFFEN SES COMMITTED BY THE PRESS
Article (68): The y shall be punishable as principal perpetrators the penalties which
constitute the repression of crimes and offenses committed by the press in the
below order :
One : The directors of publication or editors whatever their profess ions and
denominations may be
Two : In case of absence the authors
Three : In case of the absence of authors the printers or the fabricants
Four: In case of the absence of authors or fabricants the vendors, distributers or
advertisers

Article (69): When the directors or editors o f publications are accused the authors
are pursued as accomplices.

Pursuits may also be followed in the same title and in all cases of persons to whom
article (32) of the penal code is applicable. The said articles may not be applicable
to printers for acts of printing. Howe ver, the printers may be pursued as
accomplices if the criminal irresponsibility of the director of the publication is
pronounced by the tribunal. In this case, the pursuits are engaged within the three
mont hs of the offense or at least within the three months of the judicial
establishment of irresponsibility of the director of the publication.

Article (70): The proprietors of written publications, sonic or visual are civically
responsible with the persons designated by the above two articles and particularly
jointly respondents with the delinquents for the amount of fines and expenses.

Within the case provided by article (15) of this code the recovery of fines and
damages may be pursued on the assets of the company.

Article (71): The civil action resulting in defamation offenses provided by articles
(51) and (52) of this code may not be pursued separately from the public action
except in case of death or amnesty of the perpetrat or of the incriminated act.

Article (72): The pursuits of crimes and offenses committed by the press or by any
other means of publication shall have their venue at the office and request of the
public prosecutor within the forms and delays described and before the
jurisdictions determined by the penal procedure except for the following
modifications:
One: In case of defamation against the private provided by article (53) and in
case of insult provided by article (54) of this code the pursuits may not
take place except by a complaint from the defamed or insulted person.
Yet, the pursuits may be exercised from office by the public prosecutor
when the defamation or the insult committed against a group of
persons particula rly pertainin g to a particular race or religion with the
objective to excite the hate between the citizens or the inhabitants .
Two: In case of insult or defamation against the courts, the tribunals, the
constituent body and the public administration the pursuits shal l take
place at the office with the care of the public prosecutor.
Three: In case of insult or defamation against one o r several deputies the
proceedings shall take place only on the complaints of the concerned
person or persons.
Four : In case of insu lt or defamation against t he public employees, the
guardians or agents of the public authority other than the government
members or against citizens assigned to a service or public mandate the
pursuits shall take place whether on their complaint or the com plaint of
the head of the d epartment which raised them.
Five : In case of defamation against a witness provided by article (52) of this
code the proceedings shall not take place except by complaint of the
witness who alleges being defamed.

Six: In case of an offense or insult provided by article (59) or (60) of this
code the proceedings shall take place in accordance with a request
from the offended or the insulted addressed to the Minister of Foreign
Affairs who refers it to the Minister of Ju stice with the aim of
proceedings.

Article (73): The Minister of Interior may, after having the opinion of the Secretary
of State with the Pr ime Minister assigned with the I nformation and without
prejudice to the criminal sanctions provided by the applic able texts, order the
seizure of any issue of a periodical which the publication shall be of a nature of
troubling the public order. The reparation of the sustained prejudice may, if
necessary, be requested in conformity with applicable legal provisions . I n case of
proceedings in application of the dispositions of articles (43), (44) and (46) to (49)
of this code the tribunal which considers the cause of the action after hearing the
concerned parties and within eight days may decide in the chamber of counse l the
suspension of the periodical subject of proceedings for a period not to exceed
three months for the daily periodicals and for a period not to exceed six months for
the other types of periodicals. Any periodical that is suspended must cease
publicatio n. The publicatio n of a periodical is considered as pursued if it results in
circumstances of act particularly of the collaboration of all or part of the personnel
pertaining to the suspended periodical or external sign s that the new publication
appear under a new title but in reality it is a continuation of the suspended
periodical.

The suspension of a periodical shall not affect the w ork contracts which bind the
employer which keep all contractual or legal obligations resulting therefrom.

Who ever continue s the publication of the periodicals shall be punished with
imprisonment of sixteen days to six months and a fine of sixty (60) to six hundred
(600) dinars.

Article (74): the summons or the convocation shall describe and state the
discrimin ated complained act and indicate the applicable legal provision to the
proceedings. If the convocation comes from the part of the complainant it should

contain election of the domicile in the town in which the court to which the case is
filed is located an d this shall be notified to the accused and the public prosecution
otherwise the proceedings shall be void.

The delay between the convocation and the appearance before the tribunal shall
be twenty days. This delay of appearance shall be reduced to 48 hou rs in case of
the defamation or abuse during the electoral period against a candidate to an
electoral function.

However, th e session may not be delayed to the day after the previous day
designated for elections and in this case the provisions of articles 75 and 76 of this
code are inapplicable.

Article (75): If the accused desires to be permitted to prove truth of the subject of
defamation in accordance with the provisions of article 57 of this code he must
provide to the public prosecution within a period of ten days after the convocation
by deposit to the clerk of the court or to the complainant the domicile he elected
pursuant to the issue of the convocation either by the request of the first or the
second.

One: A statement of the acts attributed and described in the convocation or
the summons which he desires to prove
Two : Copy of the documents
Three: The names, professions and domiciles of the witnesses through whom
he intends to submit his proof. Furthermor e, the accused must within
the same delays elect a domicile in the tribunal otherwise his right to
deliver his proof shall be prescribed .

Article (76): Within the following five days and in all cases three days at least
before the session the complainant or the public prosecutor as appropriate in
order not to lose his right shall be obligated to notify the accused at the domicile
he elected the first through the door keeper of the court and the second through
administrative means that the copies of documen ts and the names, professions

and domiciles of witnesses by whom he intends to deliver the contrary proof are at
his disposal at the registry of the court.

Article (77): In the correctional matter the tribunal must decide within a
maximum delay of one month as from the first session.

Article (78): The public and the civil action s resultant from crimes, offenses or
infringements provided by this code prescribe after three months as from the day
of the last action of proceedings if it was held. (42)

Article (79): Article (53) of the penal code is applicable in all cases provided by this
code. (43)

Article (80): All contrary previous provisions to this code are abrogated particularly
the decree of 9 February 1956 related to the printing, library and press.

—————————————————————–

(1) Law no (22) of the year 1975 dated 28 April 1975 is related to the issue of the
press law 9 the official gazette num ber 29 dated 29 April 1975 page (992)
(1) This article is amend ed by the statute law no 85 of the year 1993 dated 2
August 1993
(2) This article is amended in accordance with the statute law no. (85) of 1993
dated 2 August 1993
(3) Last paragraph was added to the article (3) in accordance with the statute law
no. (1) o f the year 2006 dated 9 January 2006 related to the revision of the press
law.
(4) This article is revised by the statute law no. (85) of 1993 dated 2 August 1993
(5) This article is revised by the statute law no. (43) of 2001 dated 3 May 2001 (1)
this article is revised by the statute law no. (85) of 1993 dated 2 August 1993
(6) See order no. (536) of 1997 dated 8 June 1977 related t o the regulation of
public methods for the application of law no. (32) of 1975 dated 28 April 1975
related to the issuance of press law
(7) Abrogated by article (2) of the statute law no. (85) of 1993 dated 2 August 1993

(8) This article is revised by the statute law no. (85) of 1993 dated 2 August 1993
(9) This article is revised by the statute law no. (1) of 2006 dated 9 January 2006
related to the revision of the press law
(10) This article is revised by the statute law no. (85) of 1993 dated 2 August 1993
(11 ) This article is revised by the statute law no. (85) of 1993 dated 2 August 1993
(12 ) This article is revised by the statute law no. (89) of 1988 dated 2 August 1988
(13) This article is revised by the statute law no. (43) of 2001 dated 3 May 2001 and
thi s article became effective within six months as from the date of the statute law
application no . (43) of 2001 dated 3 May 2001 (article 4)
(14 ) T his article is revised by the statute law no. (89) of 1988 dated 2 August 1988
(15) T his article is revised by the statute law no. (89) of 1988 dated 2 August 1988
(16) This article is revised by the statute law no. (43) of 2011 dated 3 May 2001
(17) This article is revised by the statute law no. (89) of 1988 dated 2 August 1988
(18) This article is added by th e statute law no. (89) of 1988 dated 2 August 1988
(19) This article is revised by the statute law no. (89) of 1988 dated 2 August 1988
(19) This article is revised by the statute law no. (43) of 2001 dated 2 May 2001
(20) This article is revised by the statute law no. (85) of 1993 dated 2 August 1993
(21) This article is revised by the statute law no. (89) of 1988 dated 2 August 1988
(22 ) This article is withdrawn from the press law and included in the penal law
under no. (315) bis in accordance with the statute law no. (43) of 2001 dated 3 May
2001
(23) Abrogated by article (4) of the statute law no. (89) of 1988 dated 2 August
1988
(24) This article is withdrawn from the press law and included in the penal law
under no. (303) bis in accordance with the statute law no. (43) of 2001 dated 3 May
2001
(25) T his article is also withdrawn from the press law and included in the penal law
under no. (303) three in accordance with the statute law no. (43) of 2001 dated 3
May 2001
(26) T his article is withdrawn from the press law and included in the penal law
under no. (321) bis in accordance with the statute law no. (43) of 2001 dated 3 May
2001
(27) Abrogated by article (4) of the statute law no. (89) of 1988 dated 2 August
1988

(28) Abrogated by article (4) of the statute law no. (89) of 1988 dated 2 August
1988
(29 ) This article is revised by the statute law no. (85) of 1993 dated 2 August 1993
(30 ) This article is withdrawn from the press alw and included to the penal law
under no. (220) bis in accordance with the statute law no. (43) of 2001 dated 3 May
2001
(31) This article is revised by the statute law no. (89) of 1988 dated 2 August 1988
(32) This article is revised by the statute law no. (85) of 1993 dated 2 August 1993
(33) T his art icle is revised by the statute law no. (43) of 2001 dated 3 May 2001
(34) This article is revised by the statute law no. (85) of 1993 dated 2 August 1993
(35 ) This article is also revised by the statute law no. (85) of 1993 dated 2 August
1993
(36 ) This a rticle is withdrawn from the press law and included in the post law under
no. (59) bis in accordance with the statute law no. (43) of 2001 dated 3 May 2001
(37 ) This article is revised by the statute law no. (85) of 1993 dated 2 August 1993
(38 ) This artic le is withdrawn from the press law and included in the penal law
under no. (121) bis in accordance with the statute law no. (43) of 2001 dated 3 May
2001
(39 ) This article is withdrawn from the press law and included in the penal law
under no. (21) three in accordance with the statute law no. (430 of 2001 dated 3
May 2001
(40 ) This article is revised by the statute law no. (85) of 1993 dated 2 August 1993
(41) This article is revised by the statute law no. (43) of 2001 dated 3 May 2001
(42 ) This article is revised by the statute law no. (85) of 1993 dated 2 August 1993
(43 ) This article is revised by the statute law no. (89) of 1988 dated 2 August 1988

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