Press-Abuse: SNJT denounces scale of redundancies and precarious employment

(TAP) – The National Union of Tunisian Journalists (SNJT) recorded over 180 cases of journalists being dismissed, over 480 cases of non-payment in time of journalists’ wages for a one- year period (September 2015-September 2016), said Union President Neji Bghouri.

Describing the abuse of “dangerous index and threat to the journalist profession in Tunisia,” Bghouri said during a workshop organized, on Wednesday by the SNJT on the occasion of the celebration of the International Day to End impunity For Crimes Against Journalists,
that precarious employment of journalists and non-regulatory contractual work arrangements and collective redundancies “are a new form of aggression against journalists and seriously threatens the profession and freedoms as well as the democratic transition in Tunisia. ”

He noted that “the intrusion of dirty money in the world of press is something that is no less serious than impunity in crimes against journalists and actually threatens the journalistic profession,” he said.

“The justifications provided by some to explain the magnitude of this phenomenon, like the economic crisis and enhancing the market of advertisement cannot conceal a contempt of the efforts of journalists and pushing professionals to bear the burden of the crisis that they are not responsible, “said Neji Bghouri.

He called, on the other hand, for the need to conclude new sectoral agreements and to require media enterprises to respect the economic and social rights of journalists, calling for the establishment of a national advertising agency respecting ethical criteria for distribution of advertising and material rights.

Representative of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Tunisia and interim General Coordinator of the United Nations in Tunis, Demitri Chalev underlined the importance of material and moral order sanctions against perpetrators of crimes against the journalist.

“Experience has shown that impunity exacerbates conflict and undermines the freedom of press,” he said, stressing the crucial role of the state in the development of tools likely to protect journalists and the sources from which they draw the information.

Director of the Arab Maghreb office of Euro-Mediterranean Network for Human Rights Rami Salhi spoke of “the inability of the state to assume its responsibilities in protecting journalists and the growth of lobbies and interests of corruption, exposing the life of journalists in danger”.

“A large number of journalists in Tunisia are exposed to violations in the accomplishment of their duty by security or administration officers, a dangerous index that limits the freedom of press and expression,” he said.

Related posts