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Arabic press review: Tunisian journalists call for end to violations during crisis

Meanwhile, the leading Tunisian newspaper Al-Chourouk says president's actions are 'a rescue, not a coup’ and Rached Ghannouchi says UAE behind the turmoil
Al Jazeera journalists broadcast live from the SNJT's headquarters in Tunis after security forces shut down their bureau in the capital (AFP)

Tunisian journalists' union decries crackdown

The National Syndicate of Journalists (SNJT) in Tunisia has called on President Kais Saied to intervene urgently to ensure the freedom of journalistic work and address all illegal measures practised against media professionals, the pro-Saied newspaper Jomhouria reported.

The SNJT strongly condemned the storming of Al Jazeera's office in Tunis, where its employees were forced to leave their workplace.

Tunisia coup: Security forces storm Al Jazeera offices as army surrounds government palace
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It said the move had disrupted the freedom of journalistic work, which it considered as a "clear violation of national and international laws".

The SNJT also denounced the confiscation of mobile phones from foreign correspondents and their banning from working.

The syndicate also expressed concerns over potential reprisals against media institutions, in light of their editorial line, by parties supporting or opposing the recent decisions issued by the president.

The SNJT urged all parties to respect journalistic work and called for restraint in dealing with reporters in the field and both Tunisian and foreign institutions operating in the country.

Tunisian crisis: 'A rescue, not a coup'

Following President Saied's decision to suspend parliament, Al-Chourouk, a leading Tunisian newspaper, headlined its front page with "A rescue, not a coup".

In its editorial, the newspaper said that the Saied's actions, which also included dismissing Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi and lifting MPs' immunity, had come as a result of the catastrophic failure of the current Tunisian political system.

Al-Chourouk wrote: "The president's decisions opened a new page in the history of the country. 

"A page that may lay the groundwork for the establishment of a second republic on solid and strong foundations this time, in a way that restores the republic's national identity, the state's prestige and the supremacy of the law.”

The newspaper added that the president is “required to move quickly to rescue the country according to a clear agenda and according to a detailed, studied and binding road map for all".

"Once citizens feel the change and sense the improvement of living conditions for the better, they will certainly commit to endorsing this new experience, which remains the last hope to save the state from collapse and chaos,” it said.

Ghannouchi says UAE behind Tunisia coup

Rached Ghannouchi, the speaker of the Tunisian parliament and head of the Ennahda movement, has accused Emirati media (without specifying any particular outlets) of “pushing for the coup in Tunisia, and targeting the headquarters of the Ennahda movement", stressing that there are external parties working to destabilise the situation in Tunisia.

In statements to Turkey's TRT Arabi, Ghannouchi said that while he did not deny the existence of social, political and economic problems in the country, “it was the Emirati media that fuelled and exaggerated these problems, until we reached where we are now".

He added that "the UAE opposes and fights political Islam anywhere in the world", asserting that "they will fail" to achieve their goals.

*Arabic press review is a digest of news reports not independently verified by Middle East Eye