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Tunisia

2010

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It's my second link to a report by Hal Roberts (and others at the Berkman Center) in as many days, but I worry that this this detailed document on denial-of-service (DOS) and hacking attacks on independent media and human rights groups might get missed in the holiday season.

The news headlines in the last few weeks have been full of stories of how DOS attacks can bring down even high-profile websites, often with relatively little technical expertise on behalf of the attackers. Such attacks are nothing new to online journalists across the world, however. Just this year, CPJ has dealt with cases of independent news sites being taken offline by remote Internet attacks in China, Burma, Vietnam, Russia, Kazakhstan, and now Belarus.

The Berkman Center's report details over three hundred other cases from 1998 onwards, from Sweden to North Korea. More important, the researchers interviewed the victims of these attacks, and categorized what defenses were practical and effective -- and what did not work.

If you're an online journalist with powerful opponents, I'd strongly encourage you to read this document and pass it along to your tech-savvy associates. Even a small amount of preparation can help keep vital news and opinion available online when you -- and your readers -- most need it.

New York, December 10, 2010--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns harassment of the Lebanese news website Al-Akhbar after it published U.S. diplomatic cables that were first disclosed by WikiLeaks. The website was hacked this week by unknown attackers, while the Tunisian government blocked domestic access to the site. Saudi officials blocked access to the independent website Elaph, which also published some of the cables.

Relying heavily on vague antistate charges, authorities jail 145 journalists worldwide. Eritrea, Burma, and Uzbekistan are also among the worst jailers of the press. A CPJ special report

From Africa to the Americas, more journalists are imprisoned today than at any time since 1996. (AFP)
New York, December 6, 2010--A court in Jendouba is expected to rule Wednesday in a criminal case against Mouldi Zouabi, a senior reporter for the online news outlet Kalima. The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Tunisian authorities to drop the charges, which have been brought in reprisal for Zouabi's critical journalism.

New York, October 21, 2010--The Committee to Protect Journalists is gravely concerned about the health of imprisoned Tunisian journalist Fahem Boukadous. We call upon the Tunisian government to release him immediately.

Obviously all of these assumptions are mere speculations. This is an effort on our part to try to better understand one of the most secretive system of repression in Tunisia and to help demystify its processes. And obviously, we invite anyone with further information to make them public, and a fortiori, it may be that former collaborators of this repressive system finally reveal what can help Tunisia to get rid of this evil.

Jillian York has translated Sami Ben Gharbia and Astrubal's analysis of Tunisia's Internet censorship system. As they say, it's mostly conjectural, but based on a few hours earlier this month when parts of the censorship system were turned off. By looking at what still remained blocked, the two were able to make guesses as to how the technical infrastructure worked.

A barman in a coffeehouse in Tunis switches out the official photo of former Tunisian President Habib Bourguiba, right, to one of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, after a bloodless coup in 1987. (AP/Laurent Rebours)
The escalating attacks on critical journalists in Tunisia are unprecedented since the establishment of the first Arab-language newspaper in the North African country, 150 years ago this July.
A hospitalized Boukadous. (CPJ)

Tunisian police arrested Fahem Boukadous, a widely respected critical journalist, on July 15. Before his arrest, Boukadous wrote an open letter from the hospital, where he was being treated for acute asthma. On the evening he was taken to Gafsa prison, his wife, Afaf Bennacer, wrote an article about what happened that has been circulated on multiple Arabic websites. Below is CPJ's translation:

Al-MawkifNew York, July 19, 2010—The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the apparent censorship of Al-Mawkif, an opposition weekly belonging to the Progressive Democratic Party in Tunisia. Rachid Khechana, left, Al-Mawkif editor-in-chief, told CPJ that 10,000 copies of the newspaper’s Friday edition disappeared from newsstands, apparently confiscated by security agents.

New York, July 15, 2010—The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on the Tunisian authorities to immediately release Fahem Boukadous, a correspondent for the satellite television station Al-Hiwar al-Tunisi, and to overturn his four-year prison sentence.

2010

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Killed in Tunisia

1 journalist killed since 1992

Attacks on the Press 2012

9 Assaults targeting journalists, most occurring during coverage of street protests.

Country data, analysis »

Contact

Middle East
and North Africa

Program Coordinator:
Sherif Mansour

Research Associate:
Jason Stern

smansour@cpj.org
jstern@cpj.org

Tel: +1 (212) 300-9018,
+1 (212) 300-9017
Fax: 212-465-9568

330 7th Avenue, 11th Floor
New York, NY, 10001 USA

Twitter: @CPJMena

فيسبوك : لجنة حماية الصحفيين بالعربية

Blog: Sherif Mansour
Blog: Jason Stern