25 September 2005 - Tunisia's credibility to host WSIS II questionable

Tunisia's credibility to host the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) has been questioned in reaction on the release of the report of the Tunisia Monitoring Group (TMG).


The TMG released today its second report on Tunisia entitled: “Freedom of Expression in Tunisia: The Siege Intensifies” following the latest series of fact-finding missions by freedom of expression experts.


This 18-page report brings the update of TMG’s first report “Tunisia: Freedom of Expression Under Siege” published in February this year. The report highlights serious deterioration in conditions related to freedom of expression in Tunisia, particularly with respect to the attacks on independent organisations, the harassment of journalists and dissidents, and the independence of judiciary. It also calls for attention to the imprisonment of human rights lawyer, Mohamed Abbou.


Steve Buckley, Chair of the TMG, said: “The imprisonment of Mohamed Abbou for voicing his opinion in articles on the internet has had a chilling effect on freedom of expression and the independence of judiciary and appears to be directly linked to Tunisian government efforts to suppress dissent in the run up to the WSIS.”


Cumulatively the report concludes that this and many other new developments show that Tunisian government is seeking to stifle dissent on the eve of WSIS.


The Tunisia Monitoring Group (TMG) is a coalition of 14 organisations set up in 2004 to monitor freedom of expression in Tunisia in the run up to and following the WSIS. All organisations are the members of International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX), a global network of 64 national, regional and international organizations committed to defending the right to freedom of expression.


The third mission of TMG was composed of representatives of Article 19, International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), International Publishers Association (IPA), Index on Censorship, PEN Norway, World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC) and World Press Freedom Committee (WPFC).


Other members of TMG are: Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE), Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR), International PEN Writers in Prison Committee, Journalist’s en Danger (JED), Media Institute of South Africa (MISA), World Association of Newspapers (WAN). Tunisia's credibility to host the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) has been questioned in reaction on the release of the report of the Tunisia Monitoring Group (TMG).


The TMG released today its second report on Tunisia entitled: “Freedom of Expression in Tunisia: The Siege Intensifies” following the latest series of fact-finding missions by freedom of expression experts.


This 18-page report brings the update of TMG’s first report “Tunisia: Freedom of Expression Under Siege” published in February this year. The report highlights serious deterioration in conditions related to freedom of expression in Tunisia, particularly with respect to the attacks on independent organisations, the harassment of journalists and dissidents, and the independence of judiciary. It also calls for attention to the imprisonment of human rights lawyer, Mohamed Abbou.


Steve Buckley, Chair of the TMG, said: “The imprisonment of Mohamed Abbou for voicing his opinion in articles on the internet has had a chilling effect on freedom of expression and the independence of judiciary and appears to be directly linked to Tunisian government efforts to suppress dissent in the run up to the WSIS.”


Cumulatively the report concludes that this and many other new developments show that Tunisian government is seeking to stifle dissent on the eve of WSIS.


The Tunisia Monitoring Group (TMG) is a coalition of 14 organisations set up in 2004 to monitor freedom of expression in Tunisia in the run up to and following the WSIS. All organisations are the members of International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX), a global network of 64 national, regional and international organizations committed to defending the right to freedom of expression.


The third mission of TMG was composed of representatives of Article 19, International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), International Publishers Association (IPA), Index on Censorship, PEN Norway, World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC) and World Press Freedom Committee (WPFC).


Other members of TMG are: Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE), Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR), International PEN Writers in Prison Committee, Journalist’s en Danger (JED), Media Institute of South Africa (MISA), World Association of Newspapers (WAN).

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