Reporters Without Borders (RSF) supports the call by the families of Sofiane Chourabi and Nadhir Ktari, two Tunisian TV journalists missing in Libya, for a demonstration tomorrow outside the president’s office in Tunis to press the authorities to accept that they have a duty to intercede.
There has been no information about the fate of Chourabi and Ktari in the 17 months since their disappearance in eastern Libya on 8 September 2014, while on assignment for Tunisia’s First TV. Tunisia’s politicians have shown no interest in the case and the families feel abandoned. They have called for the demonstration because, they say, they do not want their children to be forgotten. “We cannot give up because of the lack of information about Chourabi and Ktari, quite the reverse,” said Yasmine Kacha, the head of the RSF’s North Africa desk. “We must step up our campaigning because only constant pressure by public opinion at the national and international will be capable of persuading the Tunisian authorities not to abandon the two journalists and their families.” On 7 September, then foreign minister Taieb Baccouche made an optimistic statement on Jawhara FM, suggesting there were grounds for thinking the two journalists were still alive, but since then the Tunisian authorities have not been able to produce any evidence to support this. And there has been no sign of the mixed commission that was supposed to shed light on their fate, although the president’s office agreed to the creation of such a commission at the suggestion of civil society groups. Tunisia is ranked 126th out of 180 countries in the Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.