Tunisian TV station off air

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Tunisian police stormed a private television station and cut it off air over accusations it breached broadcasting rules. The channel said it was an attempt to silence a voice criticising government.

Dozens of security forces members stormed the headquarters of Nesna television, switched off transmission and seized equipment, journalists told Reuters.

The move followed a ruling by broadcasting regulator HAICA, which revoked the channel’s licence last year.

The HAICA fined the channel for broadcasts the body described as exploiting poor people and promoting the political agenda of the channel’s owner, businessman Nabil Karoui.

The channel rejected the fines and said it did not recognise the rulings, which it said were in response to the broadcaster’s criticism of government. Government denied any responsibility for HAICA rulings.

Officials at Nesma were not immediately available to comment on the raid. The channel website said it was being punished for criticism of government and coverage of anti-government protests.