Tunis/Tunisia — Political parties, organisations and national personalities voiced their solidarity with the journalists and employees of the Tunis Afrique Presse TAP news agency in their "legitimate struggle for the liberation of the media sector".
In a joint statement issued on Wednesday, they called on the Prime Ministry to review the appointments at the head of TAP and the radio station "Shems FM" and to base these appointments on criteria of competence, professionalism and impartiality.
The signatories of the statement believe that the objective of the appointment of the TAP new CEO, which is firmly opposed by its staff, is to exercise a stranglehold on the institution to ensure its allegiance to the Ennahdha movement.
"This appointment is part of a plan concocted by Ennahdha and its partners, whose objective is to undermine the democratic transition and by the same token, seize power," reads the statement.
To this end, the signatories call on national forces to work together to confront these practices that threaten the democratic transition, urging them to participate in the protest rally that will take place this Thursday in front of TAP headquarters.
In an open sit-in since April 6, TAP staff will observe a general strike on April 22, in protest against the appointment of Kamel Ben Younes to the post of Chairman and CEO of TAP.
The national organisations that signed the declaration are: "Soumoud" Coalition, the National Union of Tunisian Journalists (SNJT), the Tunisian League of Human Rights (LTDH), the Tunisian Association of Democratic Women (ATFD), the Tunisian Forum of Economic and Social Rights, the Association of Tunisian Women for Research on Development (AFTURD), the National Observatory for the Defence of the Civilian Nature of the State, the Organisation 10_23, the Association al Bawsala, the Tunis Centre for Press Freedom, the Baity Association, the Union of Unemployed Graduates, the "Moultazimoun" Coalition, the Tunisian Association for Rights and Freedoms, the Tunisian Association for the Defence of Individual Freedoms, the Hassan Saadaoui Foundation for Democracy and Equality, the "Voice of Women" Association, the No Peace Without Justice Association.
The political parties were: al-Massar, the Socialist Party, the Echaâb movement, the Machrouû Tounes movement, Attayar and the Popular Front Party.
National personalities also signed the declaration of support. They are:
Sadok Belaïd, Kamel Jendoubi, Mokhtar Trifi, Hammadi Ben Jaballah, Chaouki Tbib, Youssef Seddik, Mohamed Fadhel Ben Mahfoudh, Lotfi Larguet, Nèji Bghouri, Sahbi Ben Fraj, Rafik Chelly, Bassem Trifi, Mohamed Kilani, Jounaidi Abdeljaoued, Nidhal Salhi, Mohieddine Lagha, Leith Ben Bechr, Ramzi Jebabli, Iheb Trabelsi, Zeineb Toujani, Fathi Jelassi, Hediane Belhassen, Saloua Charfi, Rafik Boujdaria, Lassaâd Jamoussi, Radhi Ben Khoud, Leila Chaker, Fakher Smaoui, Nour El Houda Badis, Mohamed Ali Mouelhi, Nihel Ben Amor, Joumane Limem, Samira Fessi, Brahim Ben Salah and Zahia Jouirou.