19 November 2012

Tunisia: IHACA Creation to Be Announced On Next December 10

Carthage — Creation of the Independent High Audiovisual Communication Authority (IHACA) will be announced on December 10, 2012, on the occasion of the World Human Rights Day.

This is what has been agreed on, during a working session which was attended, on Monday in Carthage Palace, by President of the Republic Moncef Marzouki and several public and private media officials, representatives of authorities and professional and specialist unions.

Decision was also taken to carry on consultation to activate Decree N°116 on the creation of IHACA, said university professor Rachida Ennaifer, in a statement to TAP news agency.

Mrs. Ennaifer added that the Media Managers' Union had submitted proposals to amend the decree in question which the National Tunisian Journalists' Union (SNJT) and the disbanded National Authority for the Information and Communication Reform (NAICR) would examine for advice.

Carrying on discussions on this issue should not slow down implementation of the decree, she explained, adding that Article 47 of the same piece of legislation provides that the President of the Republic forms IHACA in consultation with the professionals.

Four criteria for the appointment to the membership of this regulation authority have been retained, during this meeting; they are: independence vis-à-vis political parties and business interests, competence, experience in the audiovisual field and absence of ties with the former regime or with morality cases.

For his part, dissolved NAICR representative Hichem Snoussi pointed out that the amendment proposals presented by the Media Managers' Union would mainly touch on Decree N° 116, pointing out that things were heading towards the establishment of political advertising and repealing of some sanctions established by the international legislation.

In turn, chairwoman of the Media Managers' Union Amel Mzabi said that changes to Decree N°116 were necessary to guarantee rights to defence and serenity of media.

SNJT chairwoman Nejiba Hamrouni, for her part, called for dialogue between the different partners to overcome these differences.

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