Islamists throw TVs on beach to denounce “corrupt” media

 
Concerned by what they say is incompetent and corrupted media, the League for the Protection of the Revolution (LPR), a group of activists that is, according to Tunisia’s opposition, close to the Islamist party in power, organised a “flash mob” protest in the city of Sousse. Television sets were thrown onto the beach like rubbish.
 
After chanting slogans calling for the purification of the media, the protesters were asked to scatter their television sets and newspapers along Boujafaar beach, situated in the town centre.
 
To explain this, the LPR’s secretary general in Sousse, Lotfi Habchi, told the Tunisian press the media were failing in their duties to “illuminate public opinion, promote transparency, and deliver information objectively”.
 
The LPR says it is fighting against “the return of the old guards of Ben Ali’s regime”. The group already has several exploits to their name. One of the most striking was a clash on December 4 in Tunis between LPR supporters and activists for the Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT), Tunisia’s largest union. For the LPR, the UGTT should be “cleansed” for taking positions that were too different to those in power. The clashes injured around 20 people.
 
Photo published on Twitter by Hamdi Sfax.
 
Contributors

“The media should devote more time to the authorities”

Nida Elayni is a doctor and protested against the media in Sousse on Sunday.
 
I decided to march to protest against the media as I think they seriously lack objectivity. I didn’t go and throw my television on the beach, but I found the move interesting. It certainly drew a lot of attention.
 
I’m not part of the LPR, and I would never vote for Ennahda [the Islamist party in power]. I am a patriot concerned about my country’s best interests. But I do share their view when they say the media are supporting the counter-revolution and doing all they can to favour a return to the old guards of Ben Ali’s regime. For example, during the clashes on December 4, a French journalist reported that it was the UGTT that provoked members of the LPR. But the version of events in the press here was the complete opposite. I would prefer it if journalists in Tunisia showed a little more objectivity.
 
Since the revolution in Tunisia, new media outlets have appeared; the press has relatively more freedom, but those who control the media haven’t changed. The journalists systematically say bad things about the government, immediately criticising government measures as soon as they are announced. They should show the authorities’ viewpoint, too.
 
Photo posted on Facebook.
 
 

“Those who oppose the LPR are denounced as counter-revolutionaries who support Ben Ali”

Nejib Abidi is a filmmaker and lives in Tunis. He is against the views and actions of the LPR.
 
The LPR is nothing but the militant arm of Ennahda, which is trying to influence every institution in the country. The media are still out of their reach, something that annoys them deeply. The LPR was mainly created as a tool to pressure the population, including journalists, who are considered to be noisy, disruptive elements.
 
The revolution has become a scapegoat. Those who are against the LPR are denounced as counter-revolutionaries who support Ben Ali. It’s a simplistic view designed to pit people against each other and create fear. It only goes to perpetuate the habits of the old regime.
 
Photo posted on Facebook.
 
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