Election campaign impossible for opposition media

first_img RSF_en News TunisiaMiddle East – North Africa November 12, 2019 Find out more Tunisians go to the polls on Sunday 25 October to elect a president and renew the National Assembly. The result of the election is not in doubt. The sole question is by what percentage Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali will be re-elected.As the monthly Afrique-Asie headlined its special issue of October 2009 “Tunisia, why it works”, Reporters Without Borders, including its secretary general Jean-François Julliard, went to Tunis on 12-15 October to observe how the media, particularly those linked to the opposition, manage to cover the campaign as well as to check the access of some opposition parties to the public media. “Pluralism in news is still not a reality in Tunisia. It is unfortunately particularly true in an election campaign. President Ben Ali is splashed on the front pages of newspapers that are tireless in his praise. The columns of the state-run and pro-government newspapers are brimming with messages of congratulations and support for the candidate-president. The same goes for television and radio. Unfavourable opinions of the head of state are largely absent from media and Tunisians do not have access to balanced news and information”, said Jean-François Julliard, secretary general of Reporters Without Borders on his return from a fact-finding visit to Tunis. “We also condemn the attitude of the Tunisian authorities who prevent Tunisian journalists and foreign correspondents from doing their work. The police presence is permanent during this electoral period. Opposition activists, independent journalists, human rights defenders and pro-democracy activists are closely watched. This state of affairs is unacceptable,” the organisation added. Organisation News Problems for opposition mediaLate in the evening of 10 October, the eve of the opening of the campaign, the interior minister confiscated issue 149 of Ettajdid’s party newspaper al-Tariq al-Jadid (The new path) which carried the party’s manifesto for the presidential elections, when the copies were still at the printers. The party was accused of “violating electoral law” even though not a single copy of the paper had been distributed.These two examples perfectly illustrate how the Tunisian authorities use every means at their disposal to gag the opposition which decided to take part in the elections. Hatem Chaabouni, head of information for Ettajdid, told Reporters Without Borders that “the campaign is being carried more in foreign media that in Tunisian media, given that most of them belong to the regime and the others support it.” The daily news bulletin of the sole privately owned radio, Mosaïque, is made up entirely of reports from the official Tunisian news agency ATP. The same goes for the Arabic-language daily Ash-Shourouq. The dailies As-Sabah and Le Temps, owned by the head of state’s son-in-law, Sakher Al-Materi, gives no space to the opposition.Hichem Skik, joint editor of al-Tariq al-Jadid, also referred to censorship on the part of the Superior Information Council, of the actual content of the candidate’s programmes. So that in Ettajdid’s manifesto, the council called for five points to be changed, since their content was not “correct”, according to interior ministry criteria. The ministry also blocked distribution of the party’s posters, arguing that the name ‘Alliance’ and the logo used by the party were not in conformity with the register of parties legally recognised by the state. Reporters Without Borders noted that, because of this disagreement, the advertising inserts reserved for their party were left blank in the capital and that in other cities, posters had been torn down. Eleven organizations from civil society create the Forum on Information & Democracy, a structural response to information disorder The public press overflows with praise for Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali.The announcement, on 15 October, by the daily La Presse, of the support of the Tunisian Association of Newspaper Editors (Atdj) for the candidacy of Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali constitutes a disturbing break with press neutrality towards the candidates. The Atdj “welcomes the ongoing presidential attention to the news sector,”, “with the objective of improving its content and boosting its contribution to deepening the democratic pluralist experience in Tunisia” (Page 5 of La Presse).La Presse, on page 4 of its 13 October edition stresses “the support of national organisations for the Head of State’s election programme”, underlining the “pertinence of vision and the rightness of the steps contained in the keynote speech” of 12 October. Page 8 of the same edition is devoted to comments singing the praises of the candidate-president Ben Ali, who is campaigning on the theme “Together, we will meet the challenge”. The French-language daily did not give the same amount of space to the speeches of the other candidates, who got, at best, a quarter of a page.Le Temps, in its 13 October edition, announcing the opening of the election campaign, made no mention of opposition parties, while the activities of the candidate-president were the subject of a double page spread (Page 4 and 5). Same thing in its 14 October edition, in which just over a page (Page 4 and 5) was given over to Ben Ali’s campaign.The 14 October edition of La Presse vaunts the support of the “resisters and militants” for the “presidential election programme (which) lays the foundations of a forward-looking and more radiant future” (P.4). It picks up the idea that the re-election would be a “historic new step on the path to democracy and pluralism”, having no hesitation in referring to Ben Ali as “saviour” (P.5). The newspaper also refers to the support of a delegation of 17 Arab ambassadors for the National Elections Observatory (P.5) on page 7, a quarter of a page is dedicated to opposition parties, but Ettajdid does not get a mention. The same thing is repeated in the 15 October edition. TunisiaMiddle East – North Africa December 26, 2019 Find out more The web still being targetedReporters Without Borders was able to verify that the election campaign did nothing to change censorship of the web in Tunisia by the cyber-police. Several opposition websites cannot be seen in Tunisia. Several opposition figures do not have access to their emails, since passwords of messaging services or computer IP addresses have been changed. Facebook pages are watched round the clock and the slightest criticism of the ruling party leads to them being blocked.The organisation points out that many journalists and bloggers, such as Slim Boukhdhir and Mokhtar Yahyawi, have been deprived of their right to a passport; that Lotfi Hajji, correspondent for al-Jazeera in Tunisia, has still not obtained his official accreditation despite repeated applications over the past five years; that Sihem Ben Sedrine is still facing legal proceedings for “using a frequency without permission” and for launching radio Kalima. She faces up to five years in prison. Tunisia is ranked 154th out of 175 countries in the organisation’s 2009 world press freedom rankings. News Opposition candidate’s access to public mediaThe 13-day election campaign opened officially on Sunday 11 October for both the presidential and legislative elections. The Constitutional Council has validated four candidates for the presidency. The outgoing president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali of the Constitutional Democratic Rally (RCD), Mohamed Bouchiha of the Party of People’s Unity (PUP), Ahmed Inoubli of the Unionist Democratic Union (UDU) and Ahmed Brahim for Ettajdid (former communist party), who distinguishes himself from the other candidates by refusing to be just an ‘extra’ to give a sheen of “democracy”.For the first time in Tunisia, the four candidates to the presidency benefited from one hour of airtime to present their manifestos, live on the public channel Tunis 7 at 8.30pm. Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, not surprisingly, went first, Ahmed Brahim for Ettajdid second. The draw that decided the order in which candidates would go ended up costing the communications minister his job. He was sacked on the spot for not pulling the ball for the head of state from his pocket discreetly enough. Two days after the launch of the campaign by Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, Ahmed Brahim was due to give his inaugural speech at 8.30pm on 13 October. Then at 5.30pm, the candidate’s campaign committee received a call informing the party that the speech was being broadcast at that moment on the radio and that it would be broadcast on television at 6.20pm, two hours earlier than planned and without any explanation. Even if Ahmed Brahim’s 38-minute speech had been broadcast uncut, the change in timeslot would constitute a serious failure in the principle of fairness between the different candidates, since the others had their broadcast schedules untouched. Moreover, the immensely detailed constraints imposed on the candidates in reading their speech and the way in which the technicians on Tunis 7 filmed Brahim, the Ettajdid candidate, repeatedly zooming in and out from all directions, would have been enough to discourage even the most ardent supporter. to go further Help by sharing this information Forum on Information and Democracy 250 recommendations on how to stop “infodemics” October 23, 2009 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Election campaign impossible for opposition media November 11, 2020 Find out more Tunisia : RSF asks Tunisian president’s office to respect journalists Chronology of harassment of media and journalists in the past few weeks:- 15 August 2009: the authorities take control of the journalists’ trade union, putting at its head Jamal Karmawi, adviser to the secretary general of the ruling party, the Constitutional Democratic Rally, (see: http://www.rsf.org/Government-supporters-seize.html). The former secretary general, Neji Bghouri, was not allowed to lodge a complaint in a bid to have this bogus election cancelled. He was banned access to the union’s premises, on 9 September.- 28 September: Three journalists Slim Boukhdhir, Mahmoud al-Zouadi and Mohamed Maali, were prevented from entering Tunis Carthage airport, where they had arrived to meet a colleague Naziha Rajiba, editor of the newspaper Kalima and secretary general of the Tunisian press freedom observatory.- 29 September: Hamma Hammami, former editor of the banned newspaper Alternatives and spokesman for the Tunisian Workers’ Communist Party, was physically assaulted on arrival at the airport after giving interviews to al-Jazeera and France 24, in which he called the elections a “farce” (see: http://www.rsf.org/Opposition-leader-who-gave-TV.html). Hamma Hammami tried to lay a complaint for assault against Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali for grievous bodily harm but the chief prosecutor refused to accept it. – 1st October: the authorities ban distribution of “The Regent of Carthage” by French journalists Nicolas Beau and Catherine Graciet, after losing a case before a court in Paris calling for the book to be banned. “The day I realised Tunisia is not longer a land of liberty” by M. Bouebdelli is also banned.- 5 October: Moaz Al-Bey, correspondent for Radio Kalima and the newspaper al-Maouqif in Sfax, 270 km south of Tunis, is physically assaulted by plainclothes police officers. His journalistic equipment is destroyed or confiscated.- 10 October: Hamma Hammami is refused the right to leave Tunisia to take part in a conference about Tunisia at the Paris Institute of Political Studies.- 10 October (evening): police seize issue no 149 of the newspaper al-Tariq al-Jadid (the New Path) at the printers, for “violating election law”. The newspaper distributed by the Ettajdid party which is putting up a presidential candidate (Ahmed Brahim), was due to be distributed from 11 October, date of the opening of election campaign. – 11 October: expulsion of Italian journalist Manuela Gumucio, head of the Observatorio de Medios (Media Observatory), in Tunisia to offer training in the framework of a media-monitoring project organised by Sihem Ben Sedrine.- 14 October: M. Bouabdelli is the target of threats on the news website www.bilmakchouf.org, which is pro-regime.- 15 October: Zouheir Makhlouf, correspondent for the website al-Sabil online, was arrested while reporting on living conditions for residents of Nabeul, 63 km south-east of Tunis). He is accused of “harassment” for posting news on Facebook. He was then taken to a prison 20 km north of Tunis. His trial is due to held on 3 November. He began a hunger strike on 22 October.- 20 October: Lawyer Radhia Nasrowi is banned from leaving Tunisia, officially because of proceedings against her. Unofficially, it followed statements she made to al-Hiwar Ettounsi television and remarks by her husband on al-Jazzera and France 24.- 20 October: Florence Beaugé, journalist on French daily Le Monde, is prevented from entering Tunisia for “always showing evident ill-will towards Tunisia and being systematically hostile”, according to an official source contacted by AFP.- 22 October: Journalist Taoufik Ben Brik is harassed over articles he wrote for le Nouvel Observateur and the website Médiapart.- 22 October: Journalists and opposition figures trying to show solidarity with Zouheir Makhlouf prevented from meeting his wife at their home. – 22 October: police raid the premises of a Tunis radio station, broadcasting on web Radio 6, where journalists have been rallying since 17 October to condemn the state media monopoly and the absence of free expression in the run-up to elections. Receive email alerts News Follow the news on Tunisialast_img read more


first_imgFuneral services were held May 26 for Norman R. Buesing, 65. He passed away May 20 at his home in Secaucus. Born in Hoboken to the late William and Lillian May Buesing, Norman was a skilled mechanic with a passion for cars. Norman was former Sea Scout in Secaucus. He loved the Mets and any music by Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, The Doors, and other classic rock bands. Predeceased by his parents, brothers, and sister, Norman is survived by his nephews Rick Robbins-Buesing and Eric Buesing; and nieces Ashley Buesing, Tracey Ackerman, and Melissa Buesing-Glick.Services arranged by the Mack Memorial Home, Secaucus.last_img

AAG releases final team for South American Junior Championships

first_imgTHE Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG) yesterday released the names of the athletes on the 50-man team that will be representing Guyana at this weekend’s South American Junior Championships to be held at the National Track and Field Centre at Leonora.Chantoba BrightNot surprisingly the team is led by CARIFTA Games gold medallists Compton Caesar, Claudrice McKoy, Chantoba Bright, and silver medallist Anfernee Headecker, as well as South American Youth Championships multiple silver medallist Daniel Williams.All of the other athletes who represented Guyana at this year’s CARIFTA Games are also on the team. Overall, the list contains almost all of Guyana’s top, seasoned junior athletes, and then some, as the local side looks to maximise participation, with 21 females and 29 males.“This will be the biggest team that will represent Guyana at any meet. We’ve never before had a team of 50 athletes represent Guyana on any occasion,” team manager Cornel Rose boasted yesterday, during a press conference held by the local organising committee.The athletes have intermittently been training together over the last four weekends, under a pool of coaches from across Guyana’s top athletics clubs, and from all reports spirits and expectations are high among the team, with just a few days to go.“We expect our fair share of medals being that we’re on home turf and this team has been prepared like no other before that I can recall, and I’ve been around for a while.“We’ve had four weekends of camps and the sessions were great. The athletes are all in high spirit, and based on the times that they’ve been doing we can expect medals, not just silver and bronze but our fair share of gold,” coach Julian Edmonds said.Claudrice McKoyMeanwhile, when questioned about athletes being housed at the National Gymnasium during their training stints, after a photo of the athletes sleeping on the facilities bleachers circulated on social media, AAG president Aubrey Hutson said while the situation left much to be desired, it was the best that could be had under current circumstances.“Yes the ideal thing may have been to put them up at the Marriott (Hotel), but we have to understand that it’s one financial pie that we have to share, and how we distribute those finances is that in some areas we’re going to have to make cutbacks, in some areas we will be able to do better than what was previously done,” Hutson stated.“I have never had complaints about the Gymnasium being not suitable. Matter of fact I’ve never heard the athletes complain that it was too hot. We try to do the best that we can under the present circumstances for the development of this sport and hence the Gymnasium was chosen. It wasn’t the ideal place of choice, but based on the prevailing circumstances I think it was the best that we could have done.”Compton CaesarGuyana will be competing in all of the events with the exception of the female hurdles, steeplechase, heptathlon and hammer throw, which are events that Guyana does not conventionally participate in. However, the Land of Many Waters was able to source athletes to represent in the male steeplechase, hurdles, decathlon and hammer throw.The full team is as follows:GIRLS:Kenisha Phillips (100m, 200m, 4x 100m), Onasha Rogers (100m, 200m, 4x100m), Avon Samuels (400m, 4x400m, 4x100m), Collia Rowe (400m, 4x400m), Joanna Archer (800m), Claudrice McKoy (1500m), Serena Williams (1500m), Leyanna Charles (3000m), Kezra Murray (3000m), Delecia Harper (5000m), Tatyana Blair (high jump), Shontel Browne (high jump), Chantoba Bight (long jump, triple jump), Ruth Sanmoogan (long jump, triple jump), Mian McPherson (shot put, discus), Kimbily Hilliman (javelin), Jamecia Scott (discus), Cassie Small (relay), Tonya Rawlins, Tiffauna Garnett, Tandika Haynes (relay)BOYS:Compton Caesar (100m, 200m, 4x100m, 4x400m), Tyrell Peters (100m, 200m, 4x100m), Anfernee Headecker (800m, 1500m, 4x400m), Daniel Williams (400m, 4x400m, high jump), Laurindo Prince (400m, 4x400m), Terrence Fraser (400m hurdles), Hosea Glen (400m hurdles), Samuel Lynch (800m, 4x400m), Ruel Chester (1500m), Ronaldo Wishart (3000m, steeplechase), Nigel Gonsalves (3000m, steeplechase), Matthew McKenzie (5000m), Rondell Newton (5000m), Rickie Williams (10000m), Joshua Williams (10000m), Tortque Boyce (high jump), Tremaine Browne (long jump, triple jump), Anthony Williams (long jump, triple jump), Ronaldo Greene (triple jump), Jermaine Simmons (shot put, discus), Timothy Sealey (shot put, javelin), Tremaine Beckles (javelin, discus), Jonathan Garnett (relay), Jermaine King (relay), Ryan Bramble (relay), Stayon Wilson (relay), Denise Roberts (decathlon), Tevin Nicholson (race walk), Jonathan Copeland (hammer throw).last_img read more

I don’t run away from probe, I make others run: Kalmadi

first_img“I’m not the one who would run away from inquiry. I make others run”, said former Commonwealth Games Organizing Committee Chairman Suresh Kalmadi , facing charges of corruption in connection with the mega sports event held in Delhi last year.Putting up a brave front in the face of a widening CBI probe into the alleged CWG scam that has led to arrests of his close aides, Kalmadi said he was not the one who would run away fearing an inquiry.Reacting to media reports saying he was “missing” for the past few days when his bank lockers in the city were searched by CBI sleuths, Kalmadi, who returned from Bangkok last night, told Congress workers, “I was not missing. I am not the one who would run away. I make others run.”Kalmadi was in Bangkok earlier this week in connection with organisation of an Afro-Asian athletic meet.The Pune Lok Sabha MP reiterated that he was ready to face any inquiry and answer all questions and was fully cooperating with the investigating agencies.”I have not done anything wrong to bring disrepute to Pune. The CBI searched my house and opened bank lockers but they did not find anything incriminating. They came across only those things mentioned in my income and wealth tax returns,” Kalmadi maintained.Even as he made a spirited speech to his loyalists, the high-profile MP now under scanner looked visibly tense. – With PTI Inputslast_img read more

Ind vs Eng: Dravid’s ton in vain as Broad claims a hat-trick

first_imgEngland are 24/1 at stumps with Andrew Strauss and Ian Bell at the crease in reply to India’s first innings total of 288 – a lead of 67 runs, on Day 2 of the 2nd Test at Trent Bridge in Nottingham on Saturday. Ishant Sharma scalped opener Alastair Cook early. Score | PhotosRahul Dravid scored his 34th Test ton, but it was England, who finished on an advantageous position as Stuart Broad’s hat-trick wiped out India opener’s good work.Starting the day with an overnight score of 24/1 in reply to England’s first innings total of 221, India banking on Dravid’s impressive form frustrated the England bowlers, who could find and answer to the Wall’s patient innings.Dravid got the support he required from left-hander Yuvraj Singh, as the two employed the right-left combination effectively.Earlier in the day, Dravid and VVS Laxman got busy eating into a scanty first innings total that England had posted on Day 1.KP got into a verbal with Laxman after the caught behind review against him went in the batsman’s favour.It was advantage Laxman early in the innings when during James Anderson’s over England’s review got turned down. With that they ended up using both their reviews and that to unsuccessfully.Soon Laxman went on to complete his half-century. But his delight was short lived as England paceman scalped him on 54 with an away moving ball that took an edge of his bat to land in wicketkeeper Matt Prior’s gloves when India’s total was 93.Then it was the turn of the Master Blaster, Sachin Tendulkar, to make an appearance in the middle. And Tendulkar, who is still one short of his 100th international ton, started his innings in style, hitting a four off Bresnan on the fifth ball that he faced during the day.advertisementTendulkar and Dravid were at the crease and India were on 117/2 when lunch was taken on the second day.Minutes into the second session Sachin Tendulkar was seen walking back on a scanty 16 on board. And once again it was Stuart Broad who managed to disappoint Sachin’s fans just like he did during the first innings of the Lord’s Test. An away moving ball was edged by Tendulkar and England captain Andrew Strauss made no mistake in the slips cordon. India lost their third wicket on 119.Rahul Dravid, who has been playing the role of the opener with lan in the absence of regular openers Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir, scored his half-century with precision. Happy Birthday James!However, his partner in the middle Suresh Raina didn’t last long and fell to a James Anderson ball, which would have been better left than played as it was wide outside off. He prodded it and there was virtually no foot movement and Eoin Morgan did the rest at gully. India lost their fourth wicket on 139/4.Post that fall Dravid and Yuvraj Singh batted on at easy as the scanty first innings lead by England gradually got wiped out. At tea, India were 215/4, trailing by six runs.An interesting tweet: Even as the world waits for Sachin’s 100th ton, Dravid continues to pile his tonsIn the third session the went ahead and started to pile up runs to the frustration of the opposition bowlers. Soon the two batsmen reached their respective milestones, Yuvraj Singh scored his half-century while Dravid completed his 34th Test ton. Finally, England managed to get a breakthrough when a Broad’s ball took a faint edge off Yuvraj’s bat and landed in the safe hands of keeper Prior. He fell for 62 as India lost their fifth wicket on 267.This is Stuart Broad’s first hat-trick against IndiaSoon India’s innings hit a sudden low as England paceman Stuart Broad scalped skipper MS Dhoni, Harbhajan Singh and Praveen Kumar on consecutive balls. Post those wickets India were down to 273 for 8.Then it was the turn of centurion Rahul Dravid to take a walk. Dravid was looking to push Tim Bresnan, but the ball took an aerial route and Alastair Cook claimed him at third man. Dravid, who stood in the middle for the whole day, fell after an impressive innings of 117 that was decorated with 15 fours.Unfortunately, India lost four wicket on 273. Soon it was curtains for India as the visitors were all out on 288 – a lead of 67 runs with Broad claimed six wickets.last_img read more