Tunisia Journalist Syndicate to support colleagues in pro-Ben Ali institutions

Tunisia's Journalist Syndicate formed a crisis committee last Thursday to consider the urgent situation of the salaries of 200 journalists, executives, and technicians who worked for newspapers and radio stations that belonged to followers of toppled President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali.

Many are threatened with displacement and unemployment after the heads of press institutions fled.

The committee said that the employees are not in charge of any editorial policies at the newspapers.

The syndicate is trying to create a plan to provide financial support for them and called on journalists to work together regardless of their affiliation.

The syndicate also decided to hold a session next Wednesday to discuss forming a neutral committee that will be responsible for preparing a new board and leadership.

The independent syndicate issued several reports on the freedom of press under Ben Ali’s administration, after which, the administration removed the syndicate's leadership and appointed a new one on 15 August 2009.

Three days later, journalists reinstated the previous board, which is temporarily under the authority of Nagi El-Bagouri until elections are held.

El-Bagouri said that he will not be running in the elections, but he will try to ensure their fairness.

Pro-Ben Ali press and media institutions include El-Horeya newspaper, Le Renouveau newspaper–published in French–and several radio stations.

One of the challenges now is to secure the freedom of co-workers in institutions that belonged to the ruling party; said Mongy El-Hadrawy, an executive office member.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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