UNESCO Project Office in Tunis, in partnership with the Tunisian Ministry of Interior, launched the second series of training workshops for security forces on freedom of expression, press freedom and the safety of journalists. The project aims to reinforce the security forces’ knowledge of the media sector legislative framework and improve the communication and relations with media actors and journalists.
Forty-five security forces members were trained on human rights, freedom of expression principles and safety of journalism during three workshops held in Tunis between May and June 2014. Moreover, a training of trainers (ToT) workshop was carried out for twelve security forces officers in order for these officers to have the skills to train their colleagues.
The series of workshops also included the participation of four journalists, in order to allow for dialogue between journalists and the members of the security forces on freedom of expression and safety of journalists questions. “We need to defuse the existing tension between security forces and journalists in Tunisia,” said a participant of the workshop.
Finally, the training workshops provided the possibility to raise awareness among security forces of the role of journalists in a democratic transition. One participant said that “We [police] have a role to play in the democratic process and we have an impact on the daily life of citizens. Thanks to the training, I realized to what extent journalists contribute to stabilizing democratic transition and have an influence on our daily life as well”.
Further workshops on freedom of expression and the safety of journalists will be conducted in the autumn 2014 in the regions outside the capital.
This activity received support from the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Tunisia.