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A Statement to the Public Opinion

Published the:  17/10/2012

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17th of October 2012 - Regarding the insistence shown by the National Union of Tunisian Journalists (SNJT) to pursue its call to all journalists in Tunisia to engage in a general strike in the media sector today Wednesday 17thof October 2012 and pushing them for its implementation and advertising it nationally and externally through various means, the government presidency is keen on clarifying the public opinion on this issue and its circumstances with reference to the following points:
1-     The calling for the general strike was only from the union structure representing in the journalists. In this context, the government presidency appreciates the call from a procedural standpoint and considers it under the framework of the practice of the rights of union work which is committed to as a gain of the revolution the thing that cannot be happen in the era of dictatorship and in the days of the former regime. Therefore, the exceptional formula given to this event but confirms the government’s commitment to the entitlements of the revolution and the actual practice of freedoms in the democratic establishment phase.
2-    The government presidency highlighted in several occasions and meetings with representatives of media sector its commitment to freedom of the press and media and its actual practice of this fact. In doing so the government presidency is based on the values of the revolution and democracy founded on   freedom of press, expression, creativity and the independence of the public media sector in the performance of its noble mission with the need to respect the professionalism, neutrality and impartiality that should be suitable to the aspirations and expectations of the Tunisian people.
3-    As a confirmation to this policy the chief of government met representatives of the media sector on August 23rd, 2012 resulting in a consultative framework stared from August 29th , 2012, but unfortunately stopped due to a unilateral decision taken by some of union structures existing in the sector for reasons of a social nature that concern some media institutions. Because of this decision the journalists missed the opportunity of dialogue and continuity of consultation on the professional and social issues related to the sector away from the political manipulation of the subject as well as tension and resentment.
4-     The political will of the coalition party which represents the first legitimate government in the implementation of the principles of freedom and independence of the media sector clearly embodied again in its decision on Saturday, 13th of October 2012 to activate decrees 115 and 116 organizing the media sector in this important stage during which the Tunisian People prepares to celebrate a year after the election on October 23, 2012.
The government presidency expresses its surprise from the choice of the National Union of Tunisian Journalists (SNJT) to go on a general strike and the non-acceptance of continuing the dialogue under the consultative framework. Despite that fact the government presidency keeps the door open for positive interaction with all issues that concern the media sector and intends to communicate with the journalists and media professionals to strengthen their vital role in the democratic transition and development in Tunisia. In addition to dealing with the general issues of the sector and those related to the social situation in some media institutions such as the foundation for ethics references and its charter of honor and the treatment of the issue of corruption in the media sector, especially those involved in the system of tyranny. The same interest for the configuration and retraining, without losing sight of the advancement of the written journalism and developing the electronic media, the civil media and the mechanisms of access to the information and communicate closely with the citizens of all the slides and the different governorates in Tunisia.
The public opinion will remain the decisive in the estimation of the importance of every initiative and its true role in implementing the objectives of the revolution in Tunisia and the success of the democratic process whatever are the results which will be produced by this strike and its impact on the political and professional situation in Tunisia at the time when multiple platforms call for dialogue and convergence firstly with the interest of Tunisia without amplification or distortion of its image abroad.