IFJ Condemns Repressive Press Laws in Tunisia after Seizure of Publication

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today called on the Tunisian authorities to release for publication the latest issue of Attariq Aljadid newspaper which was stopped last week.

"There seems to be no end to violations of press freedom in Tunisia," said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. "Existing press laws are clearly designed to control media and crack down on any publication which fails to toe the government's line. This is not acceptable."

According to the Syndicat National des Journalistes Tunisiens (SNJT), the issue no 113 of Attariq Aljadid, a weekly publication of the Tunisian opposition party Ettajdid was impounded by the authorities on Saturday 31 January.

The organisation said the seizure was unlawful since the contentious material therein had been the subject of a judicial decision and was therefore covered by the provisions of the Tunisian press legislation.

The Syndicat is also calling for Parliament to repeal article 73 of the legislation which is open to abuse as it offers authorities too wide a scope for determining what constitutes "breach of public order".     

The IFJ support the syndicate's efforts to develop a more open media environment in Tunisia through a fair system of licences to broadcasters.

"Media are ready to play their role towards a tolerant and open democracy," added White. "We fully support the actions of our affiliate in Tunisia."

For more information contact the IFJ at +32 2 235 2207 

The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 123 countries worldwide