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Tunisia11 February 2009

“Tunisia, the courage to inform the public”: Reporters Without Borders meets journalists living under high-level surveillance

One week after an appeal court upheld a six-year jail sentence against independent journalist Fahem Boukadous, Reporters Without Borders today releases a report showing how independent Tunisian media find it impossible to freely and peacefully do its job of informing the public.

The report, entitled “Tunisia, the courage to inform the public”, follows an on-the-spot investigation in November 2008 in which a delegation from the worldwide press freedom organisation met independent journalists who continue to work despite the relentless pressure from the Tunisian security forces.

Reporters Without Borders also examines the way in which the Tunisian president uses the opposition press as “an ornament” of a bogus pluralism. Journalist Fahem Boukadous’s coverage of social unrest in Gafsa amounted to a negation of this effort and a historic challenge to the authorities’ determination to impose a total blackout on news about the disturbances there. Faced with these problems, some voices continue, despite everything, to condemn the Tunisian regime’s security and totalitarian abuses, accepting the gamble of news-gathering and putting themselves at risk of loss of liberty or of a peaceful life.

Reporters Without Borders ranked Tunisia 143rd out of 173 countries in its world press freedom index for 2008.

Download the report “Tunisia, the courage to inform the public”:

PDF - 235.1 kb
Tunisia Report - mission November 2008



In this country
20 May - Tunisia
Police in Gafsa mining region harass reporter for banned newspaper
13 May - Tunisia
Court dismisses cooking oil lawsuits against opposition daily
23 April - Tunisia
French Prime Minister urged to discuss harassment of independent media during Tunis visit
18 March - Tunisia
Letter to Interior minister about increased police harassment of journalists
11 February - Tunisia
After closing radio station’s premises, authorities harass its journalists

in the annual report
Tunisia - 2003 Annual report
Tunisia annual Report 2002

reports
7 July 2005 - Tunisia
"You have no rights here, but welcome to Tunisia!"

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Middle East press releases
3 June - Libya
Independent media brought under government control
2 June - Lebanon
French investigation at standstill four years after journalist Samir Kassir’s murder
1 June - Iraq
A journalist killed and three others wounded in two bombings
29 May - Palestinian territories
More journalists arrested as a result of tension between Palestinian factions
28 May - Yemen
President urged to halt persecution of news media