Police close down office of Al-Jazeera television channel in Tunisia

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Kate Nevens / Flickr

Al-Jazeera Channel Studios

The police closed the office in Tunis of Qatar al-Jazeera on Monday, after expelling all journalists from their premises, the director of the television channel, Lotfi Hajji, told the news agency France-Press (AFP).

“About fifteen police officers, some in uniforms and some in plainclothes, entered our office and asked us to leave,” said Hajji, noting that no explanation or court decision was provided.

According to the journalists, who had to leave Al-Jazeera headquarters, authorities argued that they were “to apply the instructions” received.

“What is happening is very dangerous, it is proof that the press freedom is threatened. Today it’s Al-Jazeera, the other day another means of communication!”, warned the director of the television channel, explaining that the keys to the office were confiscated.

According to the same source, several police officers have remained in the corridor of the Al-Jazeera office, while others controlled the surroundings of the building.

The closure of the television channel came a day after Kaïs Saïed announced the suspension of Parliament’s activities for 30 days and the Hichem Mechichi’s resignation.

Defense and Justice Ministers are dismissed

However, hours after ousting Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi and suspending parliament for a period of 30 days, Tunisian President Kais Said decreed exoneration the interim ministers of defense and justice, Ibrahim Bartaji and Hasna Ben Slimane.

After this decision – which followed the closure of the parliament justified by the need “to recover social peace and save the State and society” – the two portfolios will be headed by general secretaries or by heads of administrative and financial affairs of the respective departments until the appointment of a new prime minister and the training a new executive, revealed the Presidency in a statement.

The parliamentary table met this Monday for the first time after the dissolution of the Assembly and defined the initiative of Said de “Hateful coup”, urging the army and security forces to “respect their oath and protect the Constitution and preserve the state and institutions”.

Rached Ghannouchi, president of the hemicycle and leader of the conservative Islamist party Ennahda, denied having been consulted and given his approval of the dissolution, as mentioned by Said, who assures having resorted to article 80 of the Constitution that grants him the power to adopt “measures exceptional situations” in the face of “imminent danger” after consultations with the Head of Government and Speaker of Parliament.

No sunday Said announced that he will assume the leadership of the executive with the help of a new prime minister that he is expected to designate shortly, together with the immediate withdrawal of parliamentary immunity for all deputies.

Several offices of the Ennahda party were robbed and set on fire on Sunday during demonstrations that took place in the Maghreb country to demand the resignation of the Government and the dissolution of parliament due to its management of the health crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic and the deterioration of living conditions .

Tunisia began its democratic transition in 2011 with the so-called “Jasmine Revolution” that overthrew the dictatorship of de Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, in power for two decades, and which gave rise to a total of ten governments, unable to resolve the serious crisis. economic and social aspects of the country.