17 September 2013

Tunisia: 'Strike Successful, Jailing Journalists Red Line' (snjt President)

Photo: La Presse
Journalists observe press freedom day in Tunisia (file photo).

Tunis — "The strike has been successful; Several citizens and components of the civil society joined this protest action," President of the National Union of Tunisian Journalists (SNJT) Néjiba Hamrouni asserted on Tuesday afternoon.

The Union is determined to carry on the protest movement if legal proceedings are brought against journalists on the basis of the Criminal Code instead of the Decree Law 115 on the freedom of press and expression, Hamrouni told rallying media professionals outside the seat of the SNJT.

"Jailing journalists is a red line," she underscored, adding that "the latter are being pressurised, particularly since the disclosure by some media of information concerning political assassinations in post-Revolution Tunisia."

In this connection, she noted that prosecuting fellow journalists Mouldi Zouabi (Al Hiwar channel) and Lamia Sallami on the basis of the Criminal Code on this very day of strike shows how the Government is hounding media and evidences anew its procrastination policy.

Journalist Zied El Héni said, for his part, that the freedom of press "is not only a quest for media professionals but also a gain for all citizens," insofar as repressing the freedom of press denies the latter their right to transparent information.

"The provisions of the Criminal Code ought not be enforced as far as journalists are concerned," SNJT member Mongi Khadhraoui highlighted.

He also stressed that the Union does not bear allegiance to any political party and only advocates the freedom of press.

Secretary-General of the General Union of Culture and Information Nabil Jmour reiterated the Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT)'s support to the strike in public and private media.

In this regard, he reminded that martyr Farhat Hached had unprecedentedly called for the creation of a journalists' union.

He urged the Government to resign and accused it of being involved in killings and aggression against journalists.

Rallying journalists chanted slogans calling for the freedom of press and expression; A number of political figures were present.

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