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