Tunis — Media professionals observe, on Tuesday, a general strike at the call of the National Union of Tunisian Journalists (SNJT) and the General Union of Culture and Information (SGCI) stemming from the Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT).
This movement is organised in protest against the multiple violations of the freedom of the press, recorded in the past period.
An arrest warrant was issued, September 13, against journalist Zied el Héni, who was detained without being heard by the examining judge.
Journalist Zouheir el Jiss appeared before the judge the same day on charges of spreading false news likely to disturb the public peace and offense to the President of the Republic.
Director of "Al Hiwar Ettounsi" private TV channel Tahar Ben Hassine appeared also, September 13, before the examining judge, on a charge of conspiracy against the State security.
In August, "Astrolab" WEB TV cameraman was arrested and held in pre-trial custody for two weeks, on charges of having filmed and broadcasted the images of an egg being thrown at the Culture Minister. He was also accused of complicity with director Nasreddine Sehili who threw the egg on the minister.
In a joint statement made public, Saturday, the two unions demand that prosecution against Zied el Héni would be stopped and the repeated prison sentences against journalists and artists would be suspended.
The unions called for the government to step down, as it failed to deal with issues related to the media sector.
The statement is signed by SNJT, SGCI, the Tunisian Association of Newspapers Directors, the Independent National Council for Information and Communication, the Tunis Centre for Freedom and the Press, the Civil Coalition for the Defence of the Freedom of Expression, the Association of Young Journalists, The Union of Media Bosses and the Civil Alliance against Violence.