Tunisia: Government ends sit-in at state TV

Organised by fundamentalists to 'purify it', reporter hurt

24 April, 20:59

(ANSAmed) - TUNIS,24 APR - They have been turning up every day since early March, in front of the headquarters of state television and have conducted a war of nerves, chanting slogans through loudspeakers for hours on end. It was a scene made up of (a few) national flags and (a great many) Salaphite ones. Each day the most extreme fringe of Islamic fundamentalism used this method to pursue its battle to purify public broadcasting of its ''wickedness''.

This psychological war yesterday became one of actions with an out and out attack on TV headquarters, which was in turn defended by its staff, as if they were defending a national border. Yesterday's event almost forced the Interior Minister to nip any sit-in in the but, but the ban remained dead letter as clashes have continued through today.

In the front line, defending the independence of public television have been the blue-uniformed women who clean the premises: alongside them, reports and employees. And in yet another clash this afternoon a female journalist received a knife wound to the hand while the police looked on. When the police attempted to intervene, a fundamentalist protestor attempted to set themself on fire.

The Ministry says it stood back from ordering the police to intervene over the past few days because Tunis' Public Prosecutor considered the incident to be no more than a protest which contained no element of danger. It took yesterday's assault to make the Interior Minister act. But the events seem just another piece in the overall strategy of attacks and intimidations that fundamentalists, not all of whom are Salaphists, are using to impose a model that non-religious citizens do not want to accept. (ANSAmed).

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