A personal letter from Tunisia
I am sorry I didn’t drop a line earlier to tell you that I have never seen so many red lines crossed in Tunisia since Ben Ali fled the country on 14 January. The amazing process of turning the page of dictatorial rule is developing at a very rapid pace. State-owned and privately owned media outlets, including the ones launched by Ben Ali’s family members and cronies and newspapers accustomed to lead smear campaigns, are giving voice to political dissidents and rights activists. It’s no longer a risky taboo for local media and journalists to interview opposition or rights figures such as Moncef Marzouki, Sihem Bensedrine, Mokhtar Yahyaoui or Kelthoum Kennou.
The democratically elected board of the Association of Tunisian judges (AMT) met with the minister of justice last week. The page of injustice and punishment inflicted on them in 2005 is apparently and gradually being turned. Rahmouni, Kennou, Kaabi and their board colleaues are using todat the office from which they were arbitrarily evicted 6 years ago.
On Sunday eveing Hannibal TV stopped broadcasting briefly after Tunisian authorities decided to arrest its owner Larbi Nasra and his son for «high treason.» Nasra is known for being close to Ben Ali. Many expressed concern about the future of freedom of expression when Hannibal TV suddenly stopped boradcasting. They uttered a sigh of relief later when it resumed broadcasting.
Protesters are still taking to the streets particularly in Tunis to call for the eviction from the so-called «national unity government» of former top aides of the country’s former dictator. These protests are expected to quiet down once some, if not all, of these top aides involved in corruption and promoting Ben Ali are evicted.