Tunisia – Tunisian journalists protest against government liquidation of media institutions
Location: Tunisia, Tunis
Source: A24 Tunis
Restriction: A24 subscribers
The National Syndicate of Tunisian Journalists and the General Media Union of the Tunisian General Labor Union (UGTT) protested, today, Thursday, in front of the government headquarters in the Kasbah in Tunis, against the government’s policy of dismissing the media and defending the sustainability of public media institutions and those confiscated or under liquidation.
The General Media Union stated that it is ready to engage in all forms of struggle to defend journalists, calling on the government to respond to the media’s demands.
The union stressed its adherence to the demands and called for a boycott of the legislative elections if the demands were not met.
Meanwhile, journalists and technicians denounced the socio-economic situation, calling on the state to find solutions other than liquidating these institutions.
- Soundbite (Khawla Al-Sulaiti – journalist for confiscated Tunisian Radio Shems FM):
“Unfortunately, the sector as a whole is struggling today. The sustainability and pluralism of confiscated media institutions are now threatened.
Hundreds of journalists and technicians are threatened with dismissal and unemployment, and the reason is the judicial settlement decision that was taken unilaterally, but the government has not yet taken its final decision. Accordingly, we are here today to tell the Prime Minister that workers of these institutions must be involved, and not take unilateral decisions, nor to liquidate the media, nor to judge them, because today they are in the stage of recovery. “
- Soundbite (Muhammad Al-Saidi, the General Media Union of the Labor Union):
The judicial settlement process is a systematic policy to liquidate the media sector. Today, if a judicial settlement is reached in this sector, it will mean the end of these institutions. There are more than 600 workers in these institutions and their livelihoods are threatened and media freedom is threatened. If you eliminate the oldest written press institutions, what will remain as paper institutions? Today we invite the government to dialogue. There are alternatives and solutions that we propose as professional structures, and we sent a message to request negotiations. But the government has not yet responded to our calls. That is why we stand today as the first stage of the fight.”
- Soundbite (Sanaa bin Hamouda – a journalist for the confiscated Cactus Broad Company):
“The company has not been operating for eleven months and the state has not made a decision. To this day, we have neither worked nor received our wages or Social Security. Today, as employees of the confiscated companies, we gathered to protest the confiscation of the media organizations, namely Cactus Broad, Dar Al-Sabah, Snipe Lapras and Shems FM.
We are all struggling in miserable conditions. Those who run these media institutions are state officials. We suffer from their misconduct. All companies are bankrupt and have major financial problems. We offered several solutions, but they rejected.”