Journalists, administrators and workers at the Tunisian Dar al-Sabah, refused the government's decision to change ownership on Thursday. The employees claimed Dar al-Sabah is still able to meet its obligations and commitments. Workers considered claims the institution was in a catastrophic condition as "fallacies, not reality."
They protested and repeated slogans such as "freedom of the Tunisian press” and "no right or left, the press is for the free.”
One of the staff of Dar al-Sabah confirmed to Arabstoday that: "The truth was falsified. The institution's debts do not exceed 900,000 dinars ($ 600,000), which means the institution is able to fulfil its promises and pay the debts."
On Wednesday, the Tunisian Finance Minister Salim Besbas, declared the government decided to transfer some media institutions owned by the overthrown President Ben Ali's relatives.
These institutions included al-Sabah newspaper, Ziytouna radio, Mosaique FM, Shams FM , Cactus Company and Express FM.
The acting Minister of Finance said the loss in which Dar al-Sabah suffered is too big and it was confiscated in order to secure its re-entry in the competitive private sector.
He clarified that the state remains as the temporary owner.
The Board of Directors of Dar al-Sabah, issued a statement a week ago which said: "Dar al-Sabah is passing through a very difficult and unprecedented period since 2000, as the company has not made any profit. These difficulties are represented in the remarkable decline in sales compared to the same period of 2011."
The Tunisian League for Work said in a statement, that it is a crucial stage for media freedoms.
This is one of the most important gains of the revolution and a pillar of democratic regimes.
The government, headed by Hamadi Jebali, appointed a new general manager for Dar al-Sabah, who subsequently dismissed the editor-in-chief, amid criticism from journalists.