Tunisia: 16 organizations warn against the danger of the current version of the draft law on “the audio-visual communication body”

Sixteen national and international organizations are calling on the Tunisian government and the People’s Representative Assembly (ARP) to adopt a global audio-visual law in line with the 2014 Constitution and international standards and developed within the framework of a serious and continuous dialogue with the relevant organisations of civil society, professionals and independent experts in the media sector.

In an open letter addressed yesterday, 20 June, to the Presidents of the Republic, the Government and the Assembly of People’s Representatives, the signatory organizations have considered that the draft law on the creation of the Audio-visual communication body prepared by the Ministry in charge of Relations with civil society and transmitted to the Presidency of Government as being contrary to the Constitution as regards freedom of expression, information and the independence of the audio-visual sector. The latter is contrary to international standards and is likely to have negative repercussions on the independence of the media and citizens’ rights to a free press and one which respects the rules of ethics.

Signatory organisations have also warned about the dispersal of legal texts and their fragmentation. Thus, the forthcoming adoption of the draft law on “common provisions between constitutional bodies” by ARP and the separation of the Audio-visual communication law from the overall framework governing the sector, open the way to limiting Audio-visual communication and the independence of the regulatory body.

Tunisian and international organisations have explained that this approach is contrary to the principles of good governance, to international standards and to practices in democratic countries which seek to unify legal texts rather than to divide them.

Signatory organisations

  • Al Bawsala
  • ARTICLE 19
  • Committee for the Respect of Liberties and Human Rights in Tunisia
  • Community Media Solutions
  • Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN)
  • International Federation of Journalists (IFJ)
  • International Media Support
  • National Union of Tunisian Journalists
  • Reporters Without Borders
  • Tunisian Association to Defend Academic Values
  • Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights (FTDES)
  • Tunisian League for the Defense of Human Rights
  • Tunisia Press Freedom Centre
  • Tunisian Union of Community Media
  • Tunisian Women Research and Development Association
  • Yaqadha (Vigilance) Association for Democracy and the Civic State