Inaugural session: heavy police presence near parliament building, journalists banned

Police deployed heavily Monday near the Parliament building as an inaugural session opened. Barricades and patrol cars were seen in its vicinity, in addition to armoured vehicles near its fence, TAP journalist said. A number of local and foreign journalists gathered outside the parliament building after being prevented from covering the session. Police said their names were not on the list of assigned reporters. Only public media journalists from public service television broadcaster, the Tunisian Radio station and TAP news agency were allowed in. Journalists and photojournalists, including member of the National Union of Tunisian Journalists (French: SNJT) Yassine Bahri and Deputy SG of the General Media Union Hedi Tarchouni, voiced solidarity with colleagues who were banned from entering the parliament. “This is an unjustified exclusionary practice and a step backwards when it comes to the freedom of press and the right to access information,” they said. They also called for allowing local and foreign media to exercise their professional rights and duties.

Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse (TAP)