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Tunisia closes TV station critical of president 

October 7, 2021 at 1:34 pm

One of the studios of the Al-Zaytouna TV channel is empty after Tunisian authorities seized broadcasting equipment on 6 October 2021 [FETHI BELAID/AFP/Getty Images]

The High Independent Authority for Audiovisual Communication (HAICA) in Tunisia issued a decision to seize the equipment of the private Al-Zaytouna TV, which is close to the Ennahda movement, noting that three other channels will face the same fate.

Mosaïque FM radio quoted the head of the HAICA, Nouri Lajmi, as saying: “The decision to close Al-Zaytouna TV is not related to the current exceptional measures in the country,” which have seen President Kais Saied holding nearly total power since 25 July when he sacked the prime minister, suspended parliament and assumed executive authority citing a national emergency.

The majority of the country’s political parties slammed the move as a “coup against the constitution” and the achievements of the 2011 revolution.

Lajmi pointed out that the channel does not have a legal work permit, adding that “there are three other channels and a radio station connected to the same decision.”

Other local reports suggested that the seizure would include the Tunisian Nesma channel, owned by businessman Nabil Karoui, who stood against Saied in the 2019 presidential election.

Is Tunisia's state of emergency being used to restrict freedoms? - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Is Tunisia’s state of emergency being used to restrict freedoms? – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]

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