National and international organisations call for immediate withdrawal of broadcasting bill | Tunisia News Gazette

National and international organisations call for immediate withdrawal of broadcasting bill

National and international organisations, on Tuesday, called for the immediate withdrawal of the draft organic law creating the broadcasting regulator submitted by the Prime Ministry to the House of People’s Representatives in December 2017.

The bill, developed by the Ministry of Relations with Constitutional Bodies, Civil Society and Human Rights, this bill did not take into account comments and suggestions from civil society, they said.

At a press conference held at the headquarters of the National Union of Tunisian Journalists in Tunis, Neji Bghouri, president of the union, said that the draft law, currently under review by the Parliamentary Committee on Rights, Freedoms and External Relations “constitutes a restriction on freedom of expression and does not comply with international standards in this area”.

He noted that the Ministry has prepared the bill without consulting the human rights associations and the professional organisations concerned.

Salwa Ghazouani, Representative of the Organisation Article 19 said the broadcasting regulator draft law is likely to encourage the return of control of the information sector.

She believes that the unilateral approach of breaking up the audiovisual sector through the presentation of two separate bills: a bill creating the audiovisual regulating authority and another relating to the freedom of broadcasting is a “dangerous” process, rejected by organisations active in this field.

Among the reservations expressed by the associations and organisations regarding this draft law are the lack of transparency and the participatory process during the preparation of the bill, the dispersal and division of the legislative framework of the audiovisual sector, the existence of legal failures and serious threats to the independence of the broadcasting regulator.

The signatory organizations (23 NGOs) include the SNJT, I Watch, the Committee for the Respect of Freedoms and Human rights (CRLDHT), the Tunisian League of Human Rights (LTDH), Euromed, Article 19 , Bawsala, Nawaat, the Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights (FTDES) and the Tunisian Association of Democratic Women (ATFD).

Source: TAP News Agency

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