January 26, 2011 / 7:02 PM / in 8 years

Tunisia dissolves foreign media censor - minister

TUNIS, Jan 26 (Reuters) - Tunisia has dissolved an agency which acted as an effective censor of foreign media during the rule of ousted president Zine al-Abdine Ben Ali, a cabinet minister said on Wednesday.

The External Communications Agency will be replaced by an independent body that will help coordinate with foreign media but will not interfere in their output, Regional Development Minister Nejib Chebbi told Tunisian state television.

The move is part of the interim government’s efforts to roll back the restrictive policies of Ben Ali, who strictly controlled the media during his 23-year rule.

Ben Ali fled the country on Jan. 14 after weeks of protests. The interim government that has taken charge has since freed political prisoners, pledged to hold free elections, and promised to allow free media and free debate. (Reporting by Tarek Amara, Writing by Lin Noueihed; Editing by Maria Golovnina)

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