The Independent High Authority for Audiovisual Communication (HAICA) is standing by journalists in the face of harassment and abuse.
In a press release issued Thursday, the regulator said "abusive and arbitrary" measures have reached a climax with the judicial persecution of journalists and the deterioration of their financial and social conditions.
In the face of this deplorable situation, HAICA urges Najla Bouden's government to engage in a "frank and open dialogue" with media stakeholders and to clearly outline its own vision and strategy for the future of the media in Tunisia.
While condemning the government's approach to the media issue, HAICA said it was "astonished" that the government was instead seeking to marginalise it and erase its role as the main media regulator in Tunisia.
In this context, HAICA «deeply regrets that the government has tightened the noose around the authority's activities by getting its hands on its registry and obstructing the exercise of its decision-making powers, which is undoubtedly a blatant violation of its independence and an undeniable usurpation of its prerogatives," according to the statement.
HAICA also took the opportunity to recall the historic responsibility of the Parliament and urged the new lawmakers to adopt legislative initiatives aimed at promoting the independence of the media, especially the public media, and to work to avoid a return to the practices of the former regime.
Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse