Tunisian TV Station Shut Down for Anti-Dictator Poem

The Tunisian station, Zitouna TV, was shut down for airing a poem that criticized the country’s President. The poem called out the president for his corruption and his failure to fix Tunisia’s problems. While it is not unusual for this type of content to be broadcasted on television in many countries around the world, it is very unusual in Tunisia where freedom of speech is limited by law and censorship has been common since its independence from France. The

Tunisian government has silenced many other radio shows, websites, and television channels that have covered the country’s corruption problems over the past few years.

Many Twitter users were quick to point out how this shutdown aligned with Tunisia’s recent plummeting freedom of speech index rankings. Last year, Tunisia ranked 122nd for press freedom by Reporters Without Borders, but this year they have fallen to 158th place. Tunisia has also ranked poorly in the 2017 World Press Freedom Index, where it is currently listed as 121 out of 180 countries.

Iyad El Baghdadi, a government official and popular blogger who used to live in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), tweeted that blocking Zitouna TV was proof that Tunisia has no respect for human rights and is a sign that the country is not ready for democracy.

While this shutdown and censorship of Zitouna TV may be temporary, it gives Tunisian citizens even more insight into what their government thinks about them and their ability to receive accurate information. Many are worried so few people are speaking up about these issues, especially during the upcoming election year.

The Tunisian government has angered many citizens by forcing this shut down of Zitouna TV and they have responded on social media. They have called out their government for being dictators and for not being interested in democracy. One Twitter user pointed out that the poem in question criticized Tunisia’s president, Beji Caid Essebsi.

The Tunisian station, Zitouna TV, was shut down for airing a poem that criticized the country’s President. The poem called out Essebsi for his corruption and his failure to fix Tunisia’s problems. While it is not unusual for this type of content to be broadcasted on television in many countries around the world, it is very unusual in Tunisia where freedom of speech is limited by law and censorship has been common since its independence from France. The Tunisian government has silenced many other radio shows, websites, and television channels that have covered the country’s corruption problems over the past few years.

Many Twitter users were quick to point out how this shutdown aligned with Tunisia’s recent plummeting freedom of speech index rankings. Last year, Tunisia ranked 122nd for press freedom by Reporters Without Borders, but this year they have fallen to 158th place.