Attacks on the Press   |   Tunisia

Attacks on the Press in 2013: Tunisia

Tunisia, the country that inspired uprisings across the Middle East, continues to struggle to realize the aspirations of its own revolution, including the guarantee of press freedom. Journalists were attacked while covering protests, and several reported receiving death threats in relation to their criticism of the ruling party. The government created a draft constitution, which local press freedom groups criticized as falling short of international press freedom standards. The final draft was pending in late 2013 as the constitutional assembly suspended its work due to political tension. Constitutional protection has proven necessary in Tunisia, where the government has imprisoned and fined journalists for libel and defamation and has even tried some in a military court. In protest against attacks on freedom of expression, journalists organized general strikes calling for the implementation of decree 115 that prohibits the imprisonment of journalists in relation to their work. In May, the government established the High Independent Authority for Audiovisual Communication, a self-regulatory body for the media.

February 12, 2014 1:01 AM ET

Blog   |   Tunisia

Tunisia constitution needs stronger free press guarantees

Human rights groups and legislators are praising the third and final draft of Tunisia's new constitution as one of the most liberal charters in the Arab world--and for being arrived at by a remarkably consensual process among political parties, especially if compared with neighboring Egypt and Libya.

Alerts   |   Tunisia

Tunisian journalist jailed for filming attack on official

New York, August 29, 2013--Tunisian authorities should release a journalist and drop charges against him for allegedly conspiring to commit violence against a government official, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Mourad Meherzi, a photographer for the local online TV channel Astrolabe, could face up to five years in jail, according to news reports.

Attacks on the Press   |   Tunisia

Attacks on the Press in 2012: Tunisia

Two years after the revolution that overthrew Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, press freedom in Tunisia slid backward. Since the newly elected government assumed office in January, the authorities took several worrying steps that included the appointment of government allies as new heads of state television, radio, and print outlets. In April, three journalists were beaten while covering a protest, and in July, police officers attacked two journalists who were filming a collision involving a police cruiser and a train. In August, the authorities issued an arrest warrant for the head of a private television station, a Ben Ali ally who also hosted a satirical show mocking current government figures. In February, the authorities detained and fined three journalists for publishing a nude photo. Journalists said the government was ignoring two media laws adopted in November 2011 that were modeled on international press freedom standards, instead enforcing the previous, repressive laws. Members of the National Authority to Reform Information and Communication, a special commission set up to bring about media reforms, resigned en masse in July citing the government's lack of commitment to press freedom.

February 14, 2013 12:05 AM ET

Blog   |   Tunisia

Receding hopes for press freedom in Tunisia

Tunisian journalists from Assabah call for more freedom at a protest in Tunis on September 11, 2012. (AFP/Khalil)

These days, press freedom in Tunisia feels ever more distant.

Many journalists believed that media freedoms, which were virtually nonexistent under former President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, would grow after his ouster. During the aftermath of the December 2010 uprising, an independent press blossomed and special commissions were set up to reform the media sector. But since the elected government took office nine months ago, the tide has slowly reversed.

Alerts   |   Tunisia

Arrest warrant issued for Tunisian TV director

Tunisian authorities have issued an arrest warrant for Sami Fehri. (AFP)

New York, August 29, 2012--The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned about an arrest warrant issued against the head of a Tunisian television station, whose news and programming are often seen as critical of the current government.

Case   |   Tunisia

Two Tunisian journalists attacked by police officers

Two Tunisian journalists working for a local TV station were attacked by police officers on July 23, 2012, as they reported on the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, according to news reports.

July 23, 2012 1:03 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Tunisia

Police attack Tunisian journalists covering protest

Police attacked journalists and clashed with protesters in a Martyrs' Day demonstration on Monday. (AFP/Fethi Belaid)

New York, April 10, 2012--Tunisian authorities must immediately investigate attacks against journalists covering a Martyrs' Day protest in the Tunisian capital on Monday, the first series of anti-press attacks that the Committee to Protect Journalists has documented in three months, CPJ said today.

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