NUJ shows solidarity with Tunisian journalists on strike
NUJ representatives attended the Tunisian Embassy to show solidarity and support for colleagues on strike in the country on 17 October 2012 and to submit a letter from the NUJ to the Prime Minister. The letter from Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ General Secretary expressed the union's full support for the journalists on strike.
NUJ NEC member and IFJ President, Jim Boumelha, at the Tunisian Embassy in London
The NUJ supports the demands made by the journalist union, the SNJT, asking the government to enshrine specific clauses in the constitution on freedom of expression and media freedom. The union is also calling for the implementation of the decree laws 115/116 and to accelerate the setting up of the High Independent Authority for Audiovisual Communication, tasked with regulating the industry, and to guarantee journalists’ access to government information in accordance with decree 41-2011.
Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ General Secretary, in her letter to the Prime Minister of Tunisia, Hammadi Jebali, said: "We join our colleagues to express our outrage at your government’s unilateral nomination of heads of public media and we urge you to cancel these nominations pending appropriate consultation. We were shocked to hear about the direct intervention by your government to make these nominations and, most importantly, to have chosen in some instances followers of the old regime which raises questions about your promise to bring about change.
"The hunger strike by journalists at As Sabbah in defense of editorial independence had a huge impact and we urge you to take steps to separate administrative and editorial functions, and put in place as a matter of urgency editorial committees through election or by consensus.
"Our colleagues on strike today to advance press freedom and freedom of expression have become symbols of a fight to turn the page on a new chapter for a freer and more democratic Tunisia. We call on you to start urgent negotiations with their union to address their demands."