'Freedom does not mean violating the law' says Hajji Tunis – Azhar Jarboui Al-Jazeera’s Tunisian office director Lotfi Hajji told Arabstoday that he refused to chair the Independent High Authority for Audiovisual Communications [HAICA], because the offer made by the governing troika was for a short period, ending before the next election. "Such a short time would create a barrier against every agenda or strategy for reforming Tunisia’s media sector. It is not an encouraging catalyst for my career," Hajji added. Responding to a question about the importance of establishing an independent media watchdog, the al-Jazeera director stressed the body’s role is necessary to a free and fair Tunisian press, by monitoring and modifying the way television and radio broadcasters cover current affairs. “Freedom does not mean violating the law,” Hajj added. “There are consultative media watchdogs in more than one country,” Hajji said. “As long as we reject the interference of politicians in our profession, we must establish a body consisting of media professionals ensuring our commitment to ethics and professionalism in journalism, to achieve a balance between freedom, democracy and respect for the law." Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki has postponed an announcement regarding the final composition of HAICA so far. Marzouki is reportedly looking to deepen consultation on the body’s composition, in accordance with Chapter 47 of Decree 116, which aims to protect the freedoms of broadcasting media with an independent watchdog.