Cairo, 21th September 2008
A brave Tunisian journalist challenged fear and repression overwhelming the country and file a suite against Tunisia Agency for Internet Services demanding a compensation for internet websites blockage in Tunisia. He considered the intervention of the Tunisian president to reopen the Facebook website on the 2nd of September as an example for the Tunisian fanatic policies, as an evidence proving the failure of the Internet Agency in expanding the ban on websites.
The Tunisian journalist Ziad al-Hani has filed a law suit against Tunisia Agency for Internet Services as a result of blocking the world wide popular social network website “face Book”, and the misleading of the agency giving an error message, indicating that the website is no longer exists by displaying the error number (404) when users try to access to the website, while the error number should appear when the website is blocked is (403). Tunis district’s 3rd directorate court that had scheduled the 4th of November 2008 to review the case.
Journalist Hani, executive member of Tunisian Journalists Syndicate called on internet users in Tunisia to raise similar suits and demanding the Agency to be fined and to launch a civil protest movement to tell the Internet Agency that “We are free citizens not just a flock”.
It is worth mentioning that the Tunisian Agency, headed by Osama Ramadani, has the authority to block internet websites, what makes Tunisia compete Saudi Arabia in the number of blocked websites, while Saudi Arabia sometimes announces blocking websites, and even provides statistics, while the Tunisian Agency does not care to give figures or reasons on blocked websites. Until the blockage becomes a basic measurements, and leaving websites accessable is the exception. as internet users describe the situation. A number of important websites remain blocked, such as “You Tube, Daily Motion, Word of Tunisia, Reporters without Boarders, Tunisia News, Modern Discussion, Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, and other considerable number of blogs.
” this case is different from former cases raised by activists and journalists in Egypt and Syria in earlier times, in this case, though the Tunisia government has control over justice system, will shed a light on the absence of rights of internet users, and lead to break silence in this repressive state.” Stated Gamal Eid, the executive Director of Arabic Network for Human Rights Information today.
While supporting journalist Ziad Al Hani case The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information announces its commitment to communicate with relevant human rights related to freedom of expression to explore practical and effective means to contribute to increase the freedom to access and use the internet in Tunisia.
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