02 March 2012 7:41 pm | | 1


Share     Share       Share     Share  

Ali Laareyedh, Tunisian Minister of Interior

Interior Minister Ali Laarayedh expressed doubt about the recent claims of Tunisian journalists having been assaulted by security forces while filming and reporting last Saturday’s protest.

The remarks came at yesterday’s meeting of government ministers with the Constituent Assembly. Each minister had a chance to speak, and Laareyedh took on the issue of violence against journalists unprompted.

Saturday’s attacks have been denounced by Reporters Without Borders, who issued a statement condemning “the many direct physical attacks by police on journalists while covering the demonstration organized by the General Union of Tunisian Workers (UGTT) in Tunis on February 25.”

In a meeting held today, the Union of Tunisian Journalists (SNJT), announced that in response to the attacks against them, and the lack of official support following those attacks, they will be going on a symbolic strike for “an hour or two” at some point next week. They will also abstain from covering certain national events, such as select meetings of the Constituent Assembly.

Reporters Without Borders went further, enumerating seven cases of attacks against Tunisian journalists and pointing out that these practices “signal a clear return to the use of police violence against media.”

The SNJT claimed that they were insulted and attacked by security forces, even after showing their press cards. Some of them asserted that they were even wearing press jackets when police agents attacked them.

Laarayedh, however, stated that journalists, who “supposedly” were present, refused to follow the orders of the security officers to step aside.

The minister of the interior went on to accuse Tunisian journalists of a lack of objectivity and claimed that Tunisian journalists regularly distort reality and report only “one side of the story.”

Laareyedh is not the first official to criticize the media; other members of the government have recently accused Tunisian journalists of inciting social unrest and even “harming tourism.”

Reporters Without Borders conveyed their worry that such statements are potentially rationalizing “the increasingly frequent verbal and physical attacks on journalists.”

“Their statements could even be seen as encouraging the scapegoating of journalists,” declared the organization in its statement.

During a general assembly held today by the Union of Tunisian Journalists (SNJT) to examine resistance strategies against the wave of attacks targeting them, Ayman Rezgui, a member of the Executive Board of the union and also a victim of violence Saturday, voiced his serious concern as to the precarious situation of Tunisian journalists.

The general assembly held by the Union of Tunisian Journalists

“We are being attacked by members of the Constituent Assembly. Our colleague from Al Wataniya [Tunisian national television] Chedia Khdhir was verbally attacked yesterday by Constituent member Faysal Jadlaoui,” he stated.

Mongi Khadhraoui, secretary general of the SNJT, went so far as to accuse the Ennahda Movement, the largest seat-holder Constituent Assembly, of using the same propaganda tools of the old regime.

“Under Ben Ali, orders used to come from [the presidential palace in] Carthage and from [former propaganda chief] Abdelwaheb Abdullah and nowadays attempts are coming from [Ennahda's headquarters in] Montplaisir and [Ennahda political counselor] Lotfi Zitoun,” asserted Khadhraoui.

Ali Laareyedh stated that he had already opened an investigation into last Saturday’s assaults on journalists.

“We hope that the announcement of an internal investigation is more than just another attempt to appease public opinion,” stated Reporters Without Borders in reaction, noting that the Ministry’s last internal investigation, concerning a previous police attack on journalists from Tunisian Francophone daily Le Temps and Tunisian news website Web Manager Center, had not yet yielded any published results.

Share     Share       Share     Share  

  From the same category

            

Israelis Allowed in Tunisia, Prime Minister Announces

Tunisia Starts First Post-Revolution Census

Students Leaving Tunisian High Schools Face Difficult Choice

‘I Too Burned a Police Station,’ Online Activists Declare

            

Landfill Grows as Citizens Suffer: ‘We’ve Taken as Much as We’re Going To’

New Areas Around Chaambi Declared Military Zones

Pollution Ravages Old Port of Tunis

NCA Approves Judicial Body, Looks Ahead to Electoral Law

            

Motocross Racers in the Forests of Bizerte

Members ‘Freeze’ NCA Participation Over Reduced Sentences for Ben Ali Officials

Ben Ali Officials To Be Released in Revolution Killings Case

UGTT Union Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize


Comments (1)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. soloway says:

    respectable journalism quotes people fully! You don’t really quote any negative comments from the Minister. You allude to him saying negative things but don’t quote him. this is really shoddy and dare I say biased journalism. Only a fool would not recognise there is a bias in the media similar to the one that used to existr in the political sphere. The politiacl handover happened because fo the revolution and some such like fundamental change will need to weventually occur in the social and media worlds. Hopefully to a more diverse freer press not one constrained by a specific social and political agenda of secular liberals.

Leave Feedback


  Follow us

Connect on YouTube Connect on Google+ Connect to itunes Subscribe via RSS Feed



  Latest Videos


Play Video

Motocross Racers in the Forests of Bizerte, Tunisia

Bizerte, the northernmost city in Africa, hosted the fourth round of the...

Play Video

Endangered Whale Brought Ashore in Tunis Suburb

Onlookers in the popular tourist spot of Sidi Bou Said, near Tunis,...

Play Video

'Kima Enti:' Mixing Tunisian Traditions With Modern Design

"Kima Enti" is a hand-made art and design project launched by independent...

Play Video

One-Year Anniversary of Chokri Belaid's Death

On February 6, 2014, family and supporters of slain Tunisian politician Chokri...

Play Video

Klay BBJ explains his arrest

Tunisia Live's Nissaf Slama interviews rapper Klay BBJ on his music, arrest,...



Tabbed Structure - Regular
‘I Too Burned a Police Station,’ Online Activists...
(3926 Views)
Tunisian Kidnapped in Libya: ‘They Can Kill Me’...
(3922 Views)
Landfill Grows as Citizens Suffer: ‘We’ve Taken as...
(3523 Views)
Students Leaving Tunisian High Schools Face Difficult Choice...
(3288 Views)
Tunisia Starts First Post-Revolution Census...
(2050 Views)
Israelis Allowed in Tunisia, Prime Minister Announces...
(1740 Views)
 
Israelis Allowed in Tunisia, Prime Minister Announces...
Tunisia Starts First Post-Revolution Census...
Students Leaving Tunisian High Schools Face Difficult Choice...
‘I Too Burned a Police Station,’ Online Activists Declare...
Landfill Grows as Citizens Suffer: ‘We’ve Taken as Much as We’re...
Tunisian Kidnapped in Libya: ‘They Can Kill Me’...
Low Turnout and Mixed Feelings for Algerians Voting in Tunisia...
Update: Libyan Kidnappers Demand Militants’ Release...
New Areas Around Chaambi Declared Military Zones...