2018 World Press Freedom Index: Tunisia still 97th | Tunisia News Gazette

2018 World Press Freedom Index: Tunisia still 97th

� Tunisia has kept its 97th position at the 2018 World Press Freedom Index, published every year since 2002 by Reporters Without Borders (French: RSF) to rank 180 countries according to the level of freedom available to journalists.

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday in Tunis, RSF Editor-in-Chief Virginie Dangles pointed out that Tunisia remains a model where freedom of press is relatively satisfactory.

However, RSF has observed this year offences and legislative actions that fail to ensure the freedom of press in addition to obstacles hindering the exercise of journalism during protests.

In this regard, she indicated that journalists had been arrested and their equipment seized by the police, while others had been abused by them.

She added that some foreign journalists who had wanted to cover protests in Tunisia had also been arrested.

Dangles said that the RSF recommends that the new draft law on freedom of press be complies with international standards.

If a new broadcasting authority will be set up, it should at least be as independent and autonomous as the Independent High Broadcasting Authority (HAICA), even more, notably a financial autonomy, she recommended, adding that this new authority should be able to work with full latitude and must not be silenced by the authorities.

Taking the floor, HAICA President Nouri Lajmi estimated that Tunisia’s stagnation at the 97th position is not a positive point, as far as to stand still is to retreat.

In this important phase of democratic transition, freedom of press should be guaranteed to lay down the foundations of democracy, he indicated.

Nevertheless, journalism is also a responsibility. Information must be checked and credibility must be ensured as journalists can easily turned into enemies of freedom of press when they do not respect the code of ethics and international standards, he specified, noting that the journalist has a social and even historic responsibility.

Lajmi called the civil society and journalists to defend the freedom of press and not to allow the enactment of new laws not in compliance with international standards.

Source: TAP News Agency

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