The Tunisian Presidency has fired the head of the national television channel.
On Wednesday, the Tunisian presidency sacked the chief of the national television channel after two guests were temporarily barred from accessing the studios to participate in a show.
Wataniya’s CEO was fired after president Kais Saied halted parliament and fired the prime minister on Sunday, in what critics called a coup.
On Monday, Qatari network Al Jazeera announced that its Tunis office had been ordered to close by police, adding to concerns that the budding democracy’s civil liberties and press freedom were in jeopardy.
Lassaad Dahech, the president of Wataniya, was fired just hours after a journalism union official and an activist were denied access to the channel’s premises on Wednesday.
Amira Mohamed, vice president of the SNJT union, said she was halted at the door by a security agent who was awaiting approval from the channel’s management.
Bassem Trifi, a human rights activist who was also barred from entering, said he was told it was not Wataniya’s choice.
He said, “The CEO of Wataniya told me he had gotten orders from a military officer not to admit guests into the television studios.”
The president’s office and the minister of defense, on the other hand, stated they had not given any such orders.
Saied had issued a decree releasing Dahech of his obligations and instructing Awatef Dali to temporarily take over the post, according to a statement from the president’s office.
Saied claims that the constitution justifies his suspension of parliament and subsequent acts, which authorizes the president to take unspecified extraordinary steps in the event of a “imminent threat.”
He has stated that civil liberties will be protected.
He also announced orders dismissing a long list of senior government employees, including the army’s top prosecutor, on Wednesday.