Tunisia: PM Participates in Virtual Summit On Online Terrorism

Tunis — Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi participated Friday evening in a virtual summit on online terrorism bringing together leaders who signed the "Christchurch Call" against terrorist and extremist content online.

"The Christchurch Call" was launched on May 15, 2019, by French President Emmanuel Macron and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern after a massacre that left 51 people dead at two mosques.

The move aims to block the online distribution of images or content produced by terrorist groups.

On this occasion, the PM reaffirmed Tunisia's firm commitment to combat this phenomenon by the force of law, in accordance with international best practice.

"The holistic and multisectoral national strategy to combat terrorism and violent extremism is based on prevention, protection, monitoring and response," he said.

For him, the fight against cybercrime is one of the major challenges for Tunisia, which will spare no effort to contribute to the strengthening of the Christchurch appeal.

Besides, Mechichi stressed Tunisia's determination to guarantee citizens' freedoms in all their forms. "Freedom of worship is an important heritage of our country and we consider our inter-community as a wealth that we must preserve," he said.

He added: "Ensuring a free, open and secure internet is a fundamental challenge for our modern societies".

In the same vein, the PM recalled that Tunisia is a young democracy born in the digital era, especially since social media have played a significant role in building democracy.

"We must nevertheless remain vigilant, as various extremist groups use the internet for their propaganda and terrorist recruitment," he cautioned.

For him, only joint action will make it possible to defeat these scourges, because "recent history has unfortunately shown that we are all victims of these barbaric acts".

Terrorism and violent extremism are global threats, transcending geographical and cultural boundaries, and should not be associated with any religion, nationality or ethnic group, he concluded.

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