Tunisia shuts ‘unlicensed’ media for jihad promo

Tunisia shuts ‘unlicensed’ media for jihad promo

TUNIS - Agence France-Presse
Tunisia shuts ‘unlicensed’ media for jihad promo

Demonstrators wave Tunisian flags during a protest against militants, on Avenue Habib Bourguiba in Tunis, July 17. REUTERS Photo

Tunisia has closed a satellite television channel and a radio station for promoting jihad, a few days after jihadists killed 15 soldiers, the government said on July 20.

A statement from the office of Prime Minister Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa said the authorities had decided to shut down Nour FM radio and Al-Insen satellite channel.

The government said “the immediate closure of the unlicensed” media outlets came after they “turned into platforms for takfiris and jihad.” Takfiris are Muslims who accuse other Muslims of apostasy.

The decision came after suspected jihadists on July 16 attacked twin army posts in the remote Mount Chaambi region near the Algerian border, killing 15 soldiers in the worst attack in the Tunisian army’s history.

Many radio and television stations operate in Tunisia without permission. The government warned in the statement that it would take “all necessary measures to deal with... incitement of violence, terrorism and takfir on social networks.”

It stressed that “security and military institutions constitute a red line,” saying that “any denigrating person, group, party or institution will face prosecution.”

The government has also decided to close mosques “working outside the supervision of the Religious Affairs Ministry, as well as mosques, where celebrations of the death of our soldiers have been confirmed.” After the revolution that toppled the regime of Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali in January 2011, many mosques have fallen into the hands of extremists, becoming hotbeds for incitement of violence, according to the authorities.