Tunisian television channel Elhewar (Dialogue) has stated that its headquarters were broken into Sunday night and its content smashed by “elements opposing the channel policy".
In a statement to Arabstoday, Taher Bin Hussein, chairman of the channel, said: "We expected this incident especially after calls launched by a number of Salafist supporters on a social networking site to attack the channel."
He added : “A number of subscribers on Facebook shared on Saturday, May 26, a note entitled 'Soon, the invasion of the leftist channel Elhewar'...the surveillance cameras recorded the culprits and they will be judicially apprehended once they are identified."
He continued: "History is repeating itself because the Ben Ali regime broke into our headquarters in the past and burnt everything inside. The existence of militias threatens the security of citizens...they assault journalists and their workplaces."
Bin Hussein said the channel's journalists were harassed by "bearded people" who denounced the channel as left-wing.
“One of the journalists in the channel received, last Thursday, death threats by Salafists because she reported the fire in Moncef Bey Market,” he said.
The channel director criticised the interior ministry's silence over recent Salafist attacks on public and private property, saying: "We have elected the constituent assembly to protect people and improve the situation but we live in reality more miserable than the reign of Ben Ali and worse than any other regime."
He said: "I applaud the position taken by the internal security forces' unions, which demanded the enactment of laws that allow them to use all means of deterrence."
Elhewar is a citizen-led channel that was legalised after the revolution of January 14, 2011 after it was banned during the reign of ousted president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
The channel is known for covering the events of the mining basin in 2008, despite the blockade that was imposed upon it by Ben Ali's regime.