Censoring blogs in Tunisia-Global Voices

May 19, 2009

Tunisia: Ammar 404 is Back and Censoring Blogs Again

Lina Ben Mhenni

Global Voices: May 15, 2009

http://globalvoicesonline.org/2009/05/15/tunisia-ammar-404-is-back-and-censoring-blogs-again/

After a short hiatus, the dreaded Ammar 404 has once again attacked the Tunisian blogosphere. Ammar is the nickname given by Tunisian bloggers to the censorship machine plaguing their access to the Internet and his victim this time is Zig Zag blog by 3amrouch. It seem that the blog has been censored for republishing screen shots of a Canadian newspaper which unveils a real estate transaction in which the Tunisian President’s son-in-law Mohamed Sakhr El Matri bought a villa in Canada for a huge amount of money – information which the Tunisian Government wants to hide from its people. Many bloggers wrote about this censorship and condemned it.

Samsoum wrote:

Le blog de 3amrouch a été censure car il a repris une information publique sur un journal canadien qui est accessible a tout le monde. Par solidarité je publie aussi le lien vers ce journal qui cite dans sa page 10 la transaction immobilière qu’on veut cacher a tout prix. Et qu’on censure ce blog aussi!!!

3amrouch’s blog has been censored for reprinting public information from a Canadian newspaper that is accessible to everyone. In solidarity, I am also publishing the link to this newspaper which shows on page 10 the real estate transaction they want to hide at all costs. Let them censor this blog too!!!

Thoughts of an ex-Muslim wrote:

مادام لم يدع لكره أو عنف أو ارهاب ،

لا للحجب دون قرار قضائي واضح و علني و مسبب، لا للحجب بسبب نقد مظاهر الفساد ، الغبي الذي اتخذ القرار تقفيفا لسيدي بوحجر انما خدم عمروش و أضر سيده الصغير

As long as he did not call for hatred, violence, or terrorism, no to censorship without a clear, open and reasonable judicial decision. No to censorship for criticizing aspects of corruption.

The stupid person who took the censorship decision to please Sidi Bouhjar (the name given to Sakhr El Materi), served 3amrouch at the detriment of his little master.

Ordinary stories blogged saying:

المدونة متاع عمروش تم حجبها لأنها تناولت موضوع ما عجبش المسؤولين على أمننا وسلامتنا

قد ما قلنا ونددنا بهذه الممارسات، عمار ما فهمش، ما هوش فاهم وماهوش ناوي يفهم

هذاك علاش، تضامنا مع المدونة المحجوبة باش نعاود ننشر الموضوع إلي أغلب الظن أنه كان السبب وراء عملية الحجب

3amrouch’s blog has been censored because it tackled a subject that did not please those responsible of our security and safety. Despite the fact that we condemned these practices, Ammar did not understand. He is not understanding and he is not going to understand. This is why I am republishing the same subject which is probably the reason for the censorship.

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