Tunisia

2010


Blog   |   Burma, China, Internet, Kazakhstan, North Korea, Russia, Sweden, Tunisia

Protecting yourself from denial-of-service attacks

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.

December 21, 2010 3:31 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia

After running leaked cables, websites face harassment

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.

December 10, 2010 4:25 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Tunisia

Tunisia should drop charges against Mouldi Zouabi

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.

December 6, 2010 3:46 PM ET

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Blog   |   Internet, Tunisia

Analysing Tunisia's Net censorship

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.

August 18, 2010 8:53 PM ET

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Blog   |   Tunisia

Boukadous' wife describes bribe attempt before arrest

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:

July 21, 2010 4:47 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Tunisia

Opposition newspaper confiscated in Tunisia

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.

July 19, 2010 5:49 PM ET

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Blog   |   Tunisia

An appeal from ailing Tunisian journalist Boukadous

You are all no doubt aware of what I went through this past week. Indeed, though I suffered an acute asthmatic attack that necessitated sending me to the Farhat Hached Teaching Hospital in Sousse from July 3, the Gafsa Court of Appeals insisted on sentencing me to a four-year prison term. It took no notice of the hospitalization certificate presented to it by my lawyer, thus contravening one of the basic principles of a fair trial.

July 12, 2010 10:20 AM ET

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Alerts   |   Tunisia

Tunisia moving forward with restrictive bill for press

New York June 17, 2010—The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the adoption by the Tunisian Chamber of Deputies on Tuesday of a bill that reinforces an existing arsenal of legislation used to silence critical journalists. President Ben Ali is expected to sign the bill after its anticipated approval by the Chamber of Councilors. The change is unconstitutional since it violates freedom of expression as guaranteed by Tunisian constitution, according to CPJ research.

June 17, 2010 5:17 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Tunisia

CPJ condemns police harassment of Tunisian journalist

New York, May 28, 2010—The Committee to Protect Journalists is outraged that Tunisian police verbally abused and threatened journalist Taoufik Ben Brik, a well-known contributor to French newspapers and one of the country’s top critics of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. CPJ calls on the Tunisian authorities to end the campaign of intimidation and harassment against the journalist.

May 28, 2010 1:15 PM ET

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Blog   |   Egypt, Tunisia

In Egypt, a deplorable press freedom climate

Police clash with protesters and journalists during a Cairo rally last month. (AP)

Judging by what’s transpired in recent weeks, press freedom in Egypt is in a deplorable state. To hear that Egyptian police abused and illegally detained peaceful protestors who took to the streets on April 6 is par for the course. To read that police and plainclothes thugs also beat and detained journalists, confiscating and destroying video footage and notes, is revolting but, unfortunately, quite predictable. But to learn that elements of the state security apparatus may also have posed as journalists to monitor civil society and opposition activists marks a new low for the Egyptian state.

Alerts   |   Tunisia

Tunisia blocks journalists from press conferences

New York, March 25, 2010—Tunisian authorities banned journalists from attending two press conferences for the launch of local and international human rights reports this week, and is stepping up harassment of journalists overall, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

Blog   |   CPJ, Tunisia

Tunisian airport officials confiscate CPJ publications

On SaturdayTunis airport customs officials confiscated two copies of CPJ’s annual report, Attacks on the Press, as well as five copies of the Arabic-language translation of the Middle East and North Africa section of the book from Tunisian rights lawyer Mohamed Abbou and journalist Lotfi Hidouri on their return from Morocco, the two men told CPJ. 

Attacks on the Press   |   Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, UAE, Yemen

Human rights coverage spreads, despite government pushback

Reports of Egyptian police torture spark protests in Cairo. (Reuters/Mona Sharaf)By Mohamed Abdel Dayem and Robert Mahoney

The media in the Middle East loved the Intifada. Every detail of Israel’s violations of human rights in the late 1980s in the West Bank and Gaza appeared in the Arabic and Farsi press. The governments that owned or controlled these media outlets loved it, too. When pan-Arab satellite television stations emerged in the 1990s, they looped hours of footage of Israeli soldiers and Jewish settlers repressing Palestinians.
February 16, 2010 12:53 AM ET

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Attacks on the Press   |   Tunisia

Attacks on the Press 2009: Tunisia

Top Developments
• Government engineers ouster of independent journalist union leaders.
• Two journalists are jailed in retaliation for critical reporting.

Key Statistic
97: Percentage of newspaper campaign coverage that was devoted to President Ben Ali.


President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali was re-elected to a fifth term with 90 percent of the vote amid severe restrictions on independent reporting. Ben Ali’s government went after the country’s journalist union, bringing down its democratically elected board, while his police bullied and harassed critical reporters. Two journalists, one of them a leading critic of the president, were in jail in late year.

Alerts   |   Tunisia

In Tunisia, critical journalist’s appeal rejected

Ben Brik in a 2008 photo. (CPJ/Joel Campagna) New York, February 1, 2010—A Tunisian appeals court on Saturday upheld a six-month prison sentence against journalist Taoufik Ben Brik, one of President Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali’s toughest critics, according to news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists denounced the decision, the latest development in the politically motivated effort to silence Ben Brik.
February 1, 2010 3:24 PM ET

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Blog   |   Tunisia

Ben Brik, still jailed in Tunisia: 'Chains will certainly break!'

Ben Brik, center, after ending a six-week hunger strike to protest Tunisia's human rights record in 2000. (AFP)

“When people want to live, destiny must surely respond. Darknesss will disappear, chains will certainly break!”


Journalist Taoufik Ben Brik, 49, spurred admiration among his relatives and lawyers at a Tunis appeals court on Saturday when he chanted these two verses by Abou El Kacem Chebbi, Tunisia's most well-known poet. This unexpected recitation of Chebbi's verses, which galvanized resistance to French occupation and autocratic rule after the country's independence in 1956, followed the persecuted journalist’s first remarks in court about his ordeal since his incarceration on October 29. It was the first time he had been allowed to speak at his own hearing.

Alerts   |   Tunisia

Prison term completed, Tunisian still behind bars

New York, January 20, 2010—An appeals court in the city of Nabeul refused today to release Tunisian Zuhair Makhlouf despite his completion of a three-month prison term imposed in October. The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the court’s decision and demands authorities release Makhlouf immediately.

January 20, 2010 3:21 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Tunisia

In Tunisia, a journalist is sentenced to four years in prison

New York, January 15, 2010—The Committee to Protect Journalists urges the Tunisian judiciary to reverse on appeal the Wednesday decision of a Tunisian court in the southern town of Gafsa to sentence Fahem Boukadous, correspondent for the satellite television station Al-Hiwar Al-Tunisi, to a four-year prison term. 

January 15, 2010 1:29 PM ET

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