Tunisian media declares lawsuit against the government

Tunisian media declares lawsuit against the government

President Said of Tunisia’s crackdown on media continues to shock analysts although it is showing signs that there is resistance from media orgnaisations who are kicking back – particualarly this which consider themsleves to have no connection with the state.

The Higher Independent Authority for Audiovisual Communication in Tunisia (HAICA) has come out with a public rejection of the government’s appointment of a new director general of the Tunisian Broadcasting Corporation. HAICA is planning to sue the government over this recent interference in independent media affairs. 

The Official Gazette announced the decision to remove the former director, Sufyan bin Issa, and appoint Henda Ben Alaya Ghribi as the new President and Director General. 

An official statement from HAICA asserts that the decision of Ghibris’s appointment “destroys the minimum rules for the independence of the public media to serve the public interest and indicates a clear and explicit return to the government media system that is in compliance with the orders of the executive authority.”

“The public media has begun to turn into a government media,” said Hisham al-Senussi, HAICA member. “Despite confronting the attempts of politicians in the past years to control the media, we are now retreating, and the political actor today is trying to interfere in the editorial line of some institutions, similar to what happened with Radio Monastir.”

READ: Two more journalists targeted by Saied in Tunisia for their views

The controversy brings into question the future of Decrees 115 and 116 which stipulate the purposes of HAICA as well as the law forbidding from appointing leadership positions within the Authority. 

READ: Tunisian court frees media boss, asks colossal bail

Concerns over press freedoms and independent media operations have been brewing for the past year, beginning last December with the widespread strikes put on by the regional radio stations in Tunisia. The strike included external travel boycotts, gathering the sector union, as well as boycotting all programs. 

Al-Senussi said that in Tunisia currently, the “current indications indicate that the future of media freedom is vague and threatened in the fullest sense of the word.”

The Arab


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