RSF’s press freedom appeal to Tunisia’s presidential candidates

As Tunisia prepares to hold its second presidential election since the 2011 revolution, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has persuaded 13 candidates to sign a pledge to protect and strengthen the public’s basic right to freely and independently reported news and information.

RSF asked the main presidential candidates to give a six-point undertaking to respect journalistic freedom, independence and diversity on the basis of the Tunisian constitution and Tunisia’s international obligations as regards the freedom to inform.

The 13 candidates who agreed all affirmed their desire to continuing supporting the “information and democracy” political process. It will be up to the future president to propose legislative initiatives designed to protect journalists and the independence of the media’s regulatory bodies, while backing civil society’s work in support of the media.

“The route to press freedom in Tunisia has clearly been plotted, but it must be protected and paved, a task that the future president must guarantee as guardian of the constitution,” RSF secretary-general Christophe Deloire said.

“In Tunisia’s name, the late President Beji Caïd Essebsi undertook, along with 11 other heads of state and government at the Paris Peace Forum on 11 November, to support the Information and Democracy Initiative. These leaders gave a commitment based on the Declaration issued by the Information and Democracy Commission, which was created at RSF’s initiative. Published on 5 November 2018, the commission’s declaration proclaimed that the global online information and communication space should be regarded as a common good of humankind, one in which information freedom, diversity and integrity must be guaranteed.”

Tunisia has gone from being ranked 164th in RSF’s World Press Freedom Index in 2011 to 72nd now.

The list of signatories in alphabetical order : 

1 - Said Aidi

2 - Yousef Chahed

3 - Salma Elloumi

4 - Elies Fakhfekh

5 - Hamma el Hammami

6 - Neji Jalloul

7 - Mahdi Jomaa

8 - Mohsen Marzouk

9 - Mohamed Moncef Marzouki

10 - Abdelfatteh Mourou

11 - Mohamed Lotfi Mraihi

12 - Mongi Rahoui

13 - Abdelkrim Zbidi

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Updated on 13.09.2019