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

Memories of tramps and kindness

first_img But by his visit, my memory was drawn back to the last tramps at the door. The first appeared much older than he probably was and  was wrapped in a wool blanket and had a rag hat on his head. Mama cast him immediately as a hippie from Woodstock. She locked the door and pulled back the kitchen curtain to watch.As she saw the tramp leave the road and come toward the house, she locked the door and turned off the light.“Mama!” I went to the door. Book Nook to reopen Latest Stories Sponsored Content By Jaine Treadwell Plans underway for historic Pike County celebration Skip She got to the tramp even before he got to the road and handed him our supper.Mama was afraid of a long, alphabetical list of things and tramps were near to bottom of her list. But, Mama had a heart of gold and we had pea soup and cornbread for supper.To my great disappointment, the man at the door wasn’t a tramp, not even an old soul looking for work. He asked for the tumble of cable line that had been left after the storm. But, sadly, it was not mine to give. The man asked for anything to eat that we might could share. From the darkness of the house, Mama said she was sorry.Knowing what was about to happen, I walked over and opened the oven door. Mama filled a paper sack and waved the tramp down as he made his way out of the yard. We had pea soup and cornbread for supper.That was the last tramp that came to our house. But it was not the last encounter I had with a tramp. I don’t remember why several of us “girls” had gathered at a friend’s house on North Main Street. But, one among us noticed a strange and “dangerous” looking man coming up the street. “Get in the house! Get in the house,” our hostess demanded. When the strange and dangerous man came into clear view, he stopped and stared. And, why wouldn’t he? There were four ol’ nosey hens staring at him from behind the storm door.He stepped into the yard and two of us cautiously ventured out. The door locked behind us.Like all tramps, he was looking for food but, like all 21st century tramps, he would also accept cash. Realizing that the tramp probably had no ill intentions, that he just needed to hear a jiggle in his pockets, the other two “hens very cautiously clucked out. In a short time, we felt comfortable with him. Soon, we sat back in lawn chairs — in plain view of passing motorists and pedestrians and within hollering distance of the police station — and enjoyed the tramp’s stories, true or not, of his travels and the adventures he had along the way. Later that afternoon, as I was leaving, the tramp came back. At first, I was startled to see him standing there. But he held out his hand. A gift, he said. The gift was a rocking chair he had fashioned from a tin Coca Cola can. “It’s what I can do. What I can give,” he said. That gift has a prominent place on the top shelf in my den. It’s a memory of days gone by, of tramps, of scant suppers and most of all of Mama. Published 7:53 pm Friday, May 1, 2020 By The Penny Hoarder Troy falls to No. 13 Clemson Memories of tramps and kindness Pike County Sheriff’s Office offering community child ID kits Remember America’s heroes on Memorial Day At first thought, the tattered man standing at my door was a tramp. Hat in hands and his eyes cast downward.In that moment, I was a little girl again, peeping out from behind my mama as she turned the tramp away, saying she was sorry but she had no food to spare.But, before the tramp was down the doorsteps, Mama had the oven door open and was cramming all our leftover dinner in a paper sack. The Penny Hoarder Issues “Urgent” Alert: 6 Companies… Email the author You Might Like Young leaders play key roles in political arena Last week I discussed Alabama’s outstanding leaders in the political arena.  This week allow me to share with you some… read more Print Article Around the WebMd: Do This Immediately if You Have Diabetes (Watch)Blood Sugar BlasterIf You Have Ringing Ears Do This Immediately (Ends Tinnitus)Healthier LivingWomen Only: Stretch This Muscle to Stop Bladder Leakage (Watch)Patriot Health ZoneHave an Enlarged Prostate? Urologist Reveals: Do This Immediately (Watch)Healthier LivingRemoving Moles & Skin Tags Has Never Been This EasyEssential Health32-second Stretch Ends Back Pain & Sciatica (Watch)Healthier LivingThe content you see here is paid for by the advertiser or content provider whose link you click on, and is recommended to you by Revcontent. As the leading platform for native advertising and content recommendation, Revcontent uses interest based targeting to select content that we think will be of particular interest to you. We encourage you to view your opt out options in Revcontent’s Privacy PolicyWant your content to appear on sites like this?Increase Your Engagement Now!Want to report this publisher’s content as misinformation?Submit a ReportGot it, thanks!Remove Content Link?Please choose a reason below:Fake NewsMisleadingNot InterestedOffensiveRepetitiveSubmitCancellast_img read more

Ramsey talks up Gunners’ title bid

first_img Press Association Aaron Ramsey feels Arsenal are ready to build on FA Cup glory and challenge Chelsea for the Barclays Premier League title next season – even if they do not invest in summer reinforcements. Ramsey says he does not expect that to happen – “every club brings in new faces and a few leave” – and Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech and Southampton midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin are among those who have been constantly linked with summer moves to the Emirates Stadium. But Wales playmaker Ramsey insists the current Arsenal squad is in rude health after winning the FA Cup for the second successive season last weekend. “Even with this group of players now I believe if everyone was fit in the season we would have a great opportunity of competing for the Premier League,” Ramsey said. “This team has come on a lot over the last few years and if we can get off to a good start next season we will challenge. “The club is in a good place where they can afford not to let players go, we’re building on this team rather than seeing players leaving. “It is a nice feeling and means that the group can stick together. The understanding is there already, so it can only get stronger.” Champions Chelsea finished 12 points clear of third-placed Arsenal, but the Gunners were the form team after Christmas and there is growing belief in north London that they can turn cup success into the club’s first title triumph since ‘The Invincibles’ remained unbeaten in 2003-04. Arsenal will also have the benefit of avoiding a Champions League qualification match in August and Ramsey believes going straight into the group stages of the competition will help Arsene Wenger’s side hit the ground running. “At the beginning of the season you’re still getting your fitness levels up and those first few games are quite tough,” said Ramsey, mindful that Arsenal have had tiring trips to Turkey at the start of the last two campaigns. “If you sandwich a few Champions League fixtures in between them, that’s maybe too much for certain players at that time of the season. “So it’s important to go through to the group stages without having that knock-out game to qualify. “The good thing for us is not to have those games and hopefully that gets off to a very strong start.” Ramsey acknowledges he had a disrupted season because of injuries but he still managed 33 starts and 10 goals in all competitions, and Spanish champions Barcelona have reportedly been tracking him. But the 24-year-old says he was frustrated by finishing the season out wide on the right rather than in his favoured central position – and admits he has spoken to Arsenal boss Wenger about it “a few times”. Ramsey will be restored to the centre for Wales’ crunch Euro 2016 qualifier against Belgium in Cardiff next Friday and he feels that is where he can hurt opponents. “It’s where I play my best football and I’m very happy playing back in the middle for Wales,” said Ramsey, who was talking at an event with Vauxhall, the Wales team sponsor. “I had a chat with him (Wenger) a few times and he said it was temporary. “But I can time my runs into the box better in the centre. “When you’re wide you’re taught to try and get in at the far post so the ball doesn’t go straight across, but from that central position you can use your instinct where to go. “I know in pre-season I’ve got to work my socks off to get back in the centre. “The manager felt he needed me out wide for the back part of last season and I’ve had an effect on games out there. “But I’m looking to play in the centre and I’m confident in my ability that I can do that and win my place back there.” :: Astra. Made for Britain. In Britain. Vauxhall proud sponsor of the Wales team – for more news, views and football competitions go to www.vauxhallfootball.co.uk last_img read more

Demerara dethrone Berbice to take HiH 50-over title

first_imgHOSTS Demerara snatched victory and in the process dethroned defending champions Berbice in the final of the Hand In Hand 2019 Under-19 Inter County 50-Over Tournament which ended yesterday.Played at the GCC ground, Bourda, Berbice opted to bat after they won the toss against Demerara, but eventually lost by five wicketsHowever, the Berbice batsmen failed to live up to expectations, as Demerara produced exceptional bowling performances to fold Berbice at 115 all out in their allotted 50 overs.Opening batsmen, Kevlon Anderson topscored with a watchful 33 runs off 65 balls, complemented by one 6 and one 4, and undefeated Seon Glasgow 21, inclusive of a boundary.Deonauth Persaud who caught in an attempt to hit a maximum, made 14 with one 4, before he was sent on his way by Qumar Torrington.The Demerara bowlers tormented the remaining Berbice batsmen, to induce a low and highly probable manageable victory target for Demerara.Daniel Mootoo limited Berbice in their pursuit of achieving a mammoth total, by grabbing 4 wickets for 32 runs with support from Ashmead Nedd and Joel Spooner who earlier picked up 2 wickets each.Demerara in reply, batted confidently to gain victory by six wickets.Sachin Singh capped the top score for Demerara with a brilliant 48 off 43 balls, in which he hit four 6s and two 4s, but was eventually dismissed, caught by Gevon Schultz.Alphius Bookie added 30 off 48 balls as Nedd and Andrew Samaroo ended unbeaten with a closing partnership of 17 runs, which was enough to secure victory for Demerara, as they finished on 116 for 5 off 28 overs.Individual awards went to:Junior Sinclair – Most Valuable Player with 374 runs,11 wickets and four dismissalsJunior Sinclair- Player with the most runs, standing at 374Kelvin Umroa with 26 wicketsMavendra Dindyal with Most Dismissals , a total of fiveDaniel Mootoo – Man of the Match awardlast_img read more