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IFEX-TMG delegation meets members of the Constituent Assembly

Fahem Boukadous

(WAN-IFRA/Index on Censorship/IFEX-TMG) - 25 January 2012 - As part of its campaign for free expression, the International Freedom of Expression Exchange Tunisia Monitoring Group (IFEX-TMG) and its Tunisian partners met on 24 January with elected members of the National Constituent Assembly representing seven different political groups.

The IFEX-TMG delegation reaffirmed the necessity to enshrine the right to freedom of expression in the future constitution, to guarantee freedom of the press and the independence of public service media.

It insisted on the imperative to apply a legal and institutional framework that allows the emergence of a free and independent media, supported by an independent judiciary. A set of recommendations formulated last December by IFEX-TMG's Tunisian partners was presented to the Assembly members.

The IFEX-TMG delegation also called on the members of the Constituent Assembly to react to attacks that have targeted journalists and academics and to refuse the reestablishment of censorship in the name of morality or public order. It reaffirmed that without a reformed and independent judiciary, the right to freedom of expression would continuously be threatened.

Finally, the IFEX-TMG delegation highlighted the resonance throughout the Middle East and North Africa of the democratic transition process as it evolves in Tunisia. Both breakthroughs and steps backwards will have an impact way beyond the Tunisian borders.

The Constituent Assembly members who received the IFEX-TMG delegation expressed their will to have a continuing dialogue with the Tunisian civil society actors engaged in the defense of freedom of expression and media reforms.

On 14 December 2011, an IFEX-TMG delegation was received by the Chair of the National Constituent Assembly, Mustapha Ben Jaafar.

The IFEX-TMG delegation consisted of Judge Kalthoum Kennou, Chair of the Association of Tunisian Magistrates (AMT), journalist Fahem Boukadous, Director of the Tunis Center for Press Freedom, the Moroccan newspaper publisher Aboubakr Jamai, and Virginie Jouan, Chair of IFEX-TMG, both on behalf of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA). IFEX-TMG member Index on Censorship, as project leader, was also part of this initiative.

IFEX Tunisia Monitoring Group
Index on Censorship
World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers
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