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New head of Tunisia's official news agency resigns after days of protests

Journalists hold up signs as they gather for a demonstration outside the headquarters of Tunisia's national Tunis Afrique Presse (TAP) news agency in the capital on April 15, 2021 [FETHI BELAID/AFP via Getty Images]
Journalists hold up signs as they gather for a demonstration outside the headquarters of Tunisia's national Tunis Afrique Presse (TAP) news agency in the capital on April 15, 2021 [FETHI BELAID/AFP via Getty Images]

The newly appointed Director-General of the Tunis Afrique Presse (TAP), Kamel Ben Younes, announced his resignation yesterday, after days of protests by journalists who rejected his designation as head of the body.

Ben Younes said that he resigned in order to "avoid engaging in political disputes", adding that "the typical management of a public media institution requires a comprehensive reform plan in which administrators, specialists in modern management, media professionals and experts participate, away from settling accounts."

TAP journalists pledged to stage a general strike, the first of its kind, to protest against the police storming of the agency's headquarters last week to impose Ben Younes's appointment as director-general. They said Ben Younes's appointment aims to enable the authorities and pro-government parties to control the agency and threaten its independence, reported France24.

They accuse him of supporting steps to censor press freedom before the 2011 revolution.

Ben Younes denied the accusations and said he has no political affiliation.

READ: Tunisian protesters say media bill would open sector to graft, extremism

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