After France, Reporters Without Borders voices concerns about future of journalism in Tunisia
France-based international media protection organization Reporters Without Borders (RSF) issued Wednesday a stark report about the state of media in Tunisia as it warns against “risk of diluting the achievements of the revolution”.
In the report titled “Journalism in Tunisia: the hour of truth”, the NGO, stressed that “journalism in Tunisia is at a turning point in its history”.
The report was issued in the wake of the January 14 crack down on anti-Saied protest by security forces. The demonstration was organized by political parties and organizations opposed to President Kais Saied’s July 25 move during which he seized the country’s major powers. The protest movement was marked by police violence on journalists who came to cover the uproar.
“Journalism in Tunisia is at a turning point in its history. The slow transformation of the Tunisian media sector over the last ten years and recent political developments threaten the freedom of the press, which was the first achievement of the Tunisian revolution 11 years ago. There is clearly danger in the house, as recent news attests,” RSF said in the report.
“The scenes of violence during the January 14 demonstrations, which had not been seen in the capital since the departure from power of President Ben Ali in 2011, only confirmed concerns about the real commitment of the head of state to press freedom,” the report added.
The organization also indicated that a free press in Tunisia is inseparable from the future of Tunisian democracy.
“We call on President Kais Saied to make a firm commitment to preserving and respecting Tunisia’s constitutional guarantees and international commitments to freedom of the press and information,” RSF stressed.
RSF’s report follows France’s concern about police violence against journalists during the Friday demonstration. “Several journalists, including correspondents from the French and international press, were victim of violence while covering the demonstrations in Tunis on January 14, 2022. This is not acceptable,” the foreign ministry of the European country said in a statement.