World Press Photo 2011, presents his photographs as the starting point for a conversation with bloggers and experts on the situation #afterthespring

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“If you go to Tunisia and switch on the television, all day long you’ll see debates with no forbidden subjects or censorship”

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The Tunisian revolution of January 2011 suspended all the laws of the Ministry of Censorship that existed during the dictatorship of Ben Ali. Journalists then found themselves “freed from these laws and were able to interview whom they wanted and hold the debates they chose”, explains Larbi Chouikha, lecturer in Communication at the University of Manouba. “Journalists had to define a line of conduct because they were not trained to live and work in a truly democratic situation”, says Chouikha. She also explains that, after the revolution, two laws were created to preserve freedom of expression and the right to information, but the various interim governments had not applied them until a few weeks ago. “Now, if you go to Tunisia and switch on the television, all day long there are debates between the people in Parliament, in the opposition and representatives of civil society, and there are no forbidden subjects or censorship.” However, Chouikha admits that there is “some self-censorship” among professionals due to years of restrictions on information, which the application of these new laws will gradually eliminate.

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Larbi Chouikha >

politologist and lecturer in University of Manouba
Larbi Chouikha is a politologist and lecturer in Communication at the Institute of the Press and Information Science at the University of Manouba (Tunisia) and a pro-human rights activist in her country, where she collaborates with Amnesty International and the National League for the Defence of Human Rights. She has formed part of the INRIC, the National Independent Body for the Reform of Information and Communication in Tunisia.