One week after an appeal court upheld a six-year jail sentence against independent journalist Fahem Boukadous, Reporters Without Borders today releases a report showing how independent Tunisian media find it impossible to freely and peacefully do its job of informing the public.
The report, entitled “Tunisia, the courage to inform the public”, follows an on-the-spot investigation in November 2008 in which a delegation from the worldwide press freedom organisation met independent journalists who continue to work despite the relentless pressure from the Tunisian security forces.
Reporters Without Borders also examines the way in which the Tunisian president uses the opposition press as “an ornament” of a bogus pluralism. Journalist Fahem Boukadous's coverage of social unrest in Gafsa amounted to a negation of this effort and a historic challenge to the authorities' determination to impose a total blackout on news about the disturbances there. Faced with these problems, some voices continue, despite everything, to condemn the Tunisian regime's security and totalitarian abuses, accepting the gamble of news-gathering and putting themselves at risk of loss of liberty or of a peaceful life.
Reporters Without Borders ranked Tunisia 143rd out of 173 countries in its world press freedom index for 2008.
Download the report “Tunisia, the courage to inform the public”: