Friday, July 08, 2005

Reporters Without Borders condemns lack of communication rights in Tunisia

Reporters Without Borders has called upon the United Nations Secretary General and the Secretary General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) - the organizer of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Tunis – “to unanimously condemn” President Ben Ali's governmental policy on freedom of expression and the media in the hope that “some positive measures would likely be taken prior to the Summit”.

Reporters Without Borders representatives visited Tunisia from June 2 to 6. In a report, "You have no rights here, but welcome to Tunisia !" they found that “The commitments made by the President of the Republic of Tunisia, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, are nothing but a subterfuge. Information pluralism does not exist, and any cyberdissidents will still be behind bars when the WSIS opens in Tunis. This is an unprecedented and inexcusable situation. The so-called liberalization of the audiovisual media is a falsehood, and administrative censorship is still used to prevent the creation of independent media outlets.”

Reporters Without Borders also called the decision of the UN to hold the meeting in Tunis, in “a country that imprisons people for using the Internet, and that blocks news websites from organizing a world summit on this issue, …beyond comprehension.”

The Report is available in French at :
"Vous n'avez aucun droit ici, mais vous êtes les bienvenus en Tunisie"

Reporters sans frontières dénonce l'absence de pluralisme de l'information et le harcèlement des journalistes indépendants