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Police prevent "Kalima" newspaper journalists from entering premises to work

(WAN/IFEX) - The following is a 6 June 2007 WAN press release:

Tunisian Authorities Increase Pressure on Kalima Newspaper

Cape Town, South Africa, 6 June 2007 - The World Association of Newspapers, which is currently holding its 60th World Newspaper Congress in Cape Town, South Africa, strongly condemns the continuing pressure exerted against the Tunisian independent online newspaper, Kalima.

According to reports, between 30 and 60 plain-clothed policemen have, over the past two weeks, surrounded the premises that Kalima shares with CNLT (National Council for Liberties in Tunisia) and prevented journalists from entering their offices and working.

Since its launch in 2000, Kalima has faced censorship and, despite repeated attempts to register the publication with the Interior Ministry, has been unable to get the application processed.

WAN calls on the Tunisian authorities to immediately halt the harassment campaign against Kalima, to allow its staff to work freely and to ensure that Kalima can effectively apply for registration.

Moreover, WAN calls on the authorities to take all necessary steps to put an end to the intimidation and repression of the independent press in Tunisia and to fully respect international standards of freedom of expression.

The Paris-based WAN, the global organisation for the newspaper industry, defends and promotes press freedom world-wide. It represents 18,000 newspapers; its membership includes 77 national newspaper associations, newspaper companies and individual newspaper executives in 102 countries, 12 news agencies and 10 regional and world-wide press groups.

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