Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Pen Revisited

When one feels the noose of repression tightening, one must not remain silent, and so I bring back The Pen (previously here and here) because it continues to be pertinent and actual.




The problem: Journalists are under attack as Freedom of Expression and Freedom of the Press--the only good that resulted from the Revolution in my opinion--slip away. Examples are numerous--a small sampling follows.












1. The well-known owner of a TV news station was summoned to appear before an attorney general (juge d'instruction), was then arrested and only released because of the large crowd waiting for him in the street. Several serious accusations have been leveled at this daring journalist/station owner, including betrayal of national security--which carries a death penalty. Although released, the lawsuits against him continue.
2. A militant journalist, who did prison time during the dictatorship, was summoned, arrested and spent two days in prison before he paid bail, which is unheard of because the bail system does not exist in Tunisia. Lawsuits against him continue.

3. A blogger who did some investigative reporting and revealed the "Sheraton-gate" scandal concerning large sums of money diverted by the former Minister of Foreign Affairs (son-in-law of the religious party's leader) had her passport confiscated and cannot leave the country.

4. Fortunately, "le ridicule ne tue pas" ("the ridiculous does not kill"). The government threw a lawsuit against a journalist with a radio program. His program was live and a caller criticized the government. That lawsuit is ongoing as well. 

And so, I salute the courageous journalists, writers, and media professionals who continue to risk their lives in order to maintain Freedom of Expression. 

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In the meantime, after two years of the ruling religious party's government, whose mandate ended October 23, 2012, Tunisia is on the edge of bankruptcy. Persistent rumors whisper that currency is evaporating rapidly and that there may be nothing left in a couple of months to pay salaries and pensions. The ruling religious party has begun negotiations with the major trade union and opposition parties to create a transitional government, now that they have bled the country dry and international banks refuse to consider dealing with the ruling party. However, skepticism reigns--will they leave or will they hang on until nothing is left to pick over but dry bones? Ah, yes, this is all about money....

17 comments:

Janet M. Atwill said...

Your beautiful stitching speaks loudly.

Radka said...

Very good post, thank you.

Connie Rose said...

Beautiful stitched work, as always. Hope you and yours are well, despite the continuing political unrest. Hugs.

Silvana Vituriano said...

Thank you for informing us about what happens in Tunisia. I am Journalist and know the difficulties of exercising this profession in times of political turmoil.

Martha said...

Yes, thanks for your posts concerning both your inspirational stitching and the frightening environment in which you live. My thoughts are with you and yours.

Caroline Heinrichs said...

Poignant content and impeccable french knots!! Well done on both counts!

Ms. said...

The truth above all else will out eventually.

Bouts Choisis said...

It is always about money... So sad. Thank you for keeping us informed and keep safe ...

Alicia said...

The world is in sad & dangerous shape in these times. Praying for your safety!

Mo Crow said...

this is such a strong and powerful work Nadia thank you for making and sharing it!

Doris Perlhuhn said...

I appreciate your reports about the situation in your country. Perhaps in these times it helps a little to express the feelings in cloth. Wish you all the best.

rtquilter said...

Nadia, this is SOOO incredible! I cannot find words to express my admiration for what you are doing and I have to tell you that I pray for your safety and for the safety of the common man in those countries in the Middle East where life is so dangerous. PEASE be careful! We need people like you to speak out and to tell us what is happening. God bless. Please take care.

Muddling Through said...

I feel pretty much the same way. I will not be silent, but it does seem that no one cares. Still, your work is beautiful. And I listen.

Carole Reid said...

Yes, Nadia, it is usually all about money. Thank you for your updates. Often I think of you living there and wonder how it affects you in your day to day life. Take care. xo Carole

Sandy said...

You do such beautiful and soulful work. Tunisia is on shaky ground like so many others. It is probably too much to hope they will resolve their problems in a peaceful way.
Please stay safe.

Diane J. Evans said...

Nadia -- I pray for you constantly and I worry for you and your family. My prayers always include the hope that something will present itself to you that will enable you to leave this instability and move to a safer place. Please take good care and know that you have friends all over the world.

Diane

O'Quilts said...

Be brave and create and be careful. Sending hugs from North Carolina.