Technical committee to decide as of Friday on draft law on audiovisual (Ben Gharbia) | Tunisia News Gazette

Technical committee to decide as of Friday on draft law on audiovisual (Ben Gharbia)

A joint technical committee will rule as of tomorrow, Friday on the draft law on the audiovisual.

This decision was taken following an agreement reached between the Ministry of Relations with the Constitutional Authorities, the National Union of Tunisian Journalists (SNJT), the Tunisian Federation of Newspaper Directors and the General Union of Information under the UGTT.

This project will be the subject of an extended consultation next March.

Minister of Relations with the Constitutional Authorities and Civil Society and human rights Mehdi Ben Gharbia said, during a meeting with the press Thursday in Tunis that his department is open to all proposals, as part of a participatory process to discuss the content of this bill.

He added that the national unity government supports freedom of expression and the independence of the media sector.

The minister, who highlighted the role of the decree-laws 115 and 116 in the guarantee of the freedom of information, underlined that the revision of the legal frameworks organiding the public life imposes the revision of the two decree-laws for to remedy the shortcomings contained in these texts.

Regarding the law on freedom of the press and publishing that should replace the Decree-Law 115, Ben Gharbia said that this project was proposed by components of civil society, headed by the SNJT.

He noted that the Ministry has accepted this proposal and is currently working to improve it through consultations with various stakeholders.

As for the Audiovisual Law which will replace Legislative Decree 116, the Minister recalled that this project was ready before the Chahed Government took office and was not the subject of consultations.

The ministry had scheduled meetings and consultations on this project to develop a consensus text. But the High Independent Authority for Audiovisual Communication (HAICA) did not participate in these meetings and its members opposed the idea of a law relating to the audio-visual authority and another governing the sector, in addition to the dispute that arose over the assent of the authority in the appointment of CEOs of news companies.

An agreement was then reached between the Prime Minister, the president of HAICA and some of its members to pass, at the same time, the two bills relating to the authority and the sector, said the minister.

He added that HAICA then refrained from commenting on the first version of the audiovisual bill sent by the ministry.

According to Ben Gharbia, the points of contention in this bill issued by the professional structures and the civil society, concern, in particular the question of unification of the law and the question of the assent of the authority during the dismissal of the CEOs of the public press companies and the composition of the Council of the authority.

He stressed the need to relaunch discussions and consultations to develop the project.

Source: TAP News Agency

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