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Press Freedom News and Views


Blog   |   Tunisia

Tunisian journalist loses 'airport immunity' after award

Naziha Réjiba (OLPEC)

My country’s international airport—as some may not know—has become the scene of the Tunisian regime’s score-settling with its opponents. Opponents are no longer banned from traveling; this is a move to promote the idea that they are “free.” However, if they do travel, they face difficulties at the airport, port, or border crossing in question.

December 15, 2009 5:58 PM ET


Blog   |   Azerbaijan, CPJ, China, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Tunisia

Seen and heard at CPJ benefit: 'The pen is not broken'

Small in stature but strong in her words, Naziha Réjiba tells a reporter of all the things the Tunisian government does to try to frighten her. But Réjiba said that she will not be scared, that she will never allow such tactics to have power over her. Editor of Kalima, an online news Web site blocked in her own country, Réjiba was honored Tuesday at CPJ’s International Press Freedom Awards at New York’s Waldorf-Astoria for displaying just that sort of courage. Four other leading journalists were recognized as well. 

Blog   |   Tunisia

A Tunisian blogger speaks out: ‘The candles are lit’

My country’s government brags unabashedly that it has not passed any laws that require government authorization to establish an electronic publication or a Web site or a blog on the Internet. Those that cheerlead for this government rely on this point to propagate the lie they call “the freedom to publish electronically” in Tunisia.

Blog   |   Tunisia

After advocacy, Tunisian sees end of cruel punishment

The government's cruel treatment of Tunisian journalist Abdallah Zouari came to an end on August 1, a reminder that even the most autocratic regimes will yield to international pressure for press freedom. Zouari, a former reporter for the now-defunct Islamic weekly Al-Fajr, had been forced to live under a form of house arrest since his release from prison in 2002 following an 11-year term. Living under what was called "administrative control," Zouari was subjected to strict police surveillance and forced to reside in the suburbs of the southern city of Zarzis, hundreds of miles from his family. No more.

August 24, 2009 1:43 PM ET


Blog   |   Tunisia

A blogger in Tunisia: My life with the censor

The specter of government opposition to blogging, journalism, and free expression in general in Tunisia is so intense that the mere appearance of a specific name online is enough to push the government to block the Web site where it appears, even if that site is not critical of the government. 

April 30, 2009 10:00 AM ET


Blog   |   Tunisia

After CPJ letter, Tunis grants journalist freedom to travel

Nearly a week after CPJ sent a letter to Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali urging him to end the "ongoing cycle of repression of critical journalists and media outlets," Tunisia's Ministry of Justice and Human Rights told Mohamed Abbou, a prominent human rights lawyer and writer, in a phone call on Saturday that he was free to travel abroad.

March 30, 2009 5:23 PM ET


Blog   |   Tunisia

Tunisian president calls criticism "unbecoming"

Slim Boukhdir

During his address to the nation on the anniversary of Tunisia's independence on March 20, President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali did not hesitate to reject critical journalism and the right of journalists to cover corruption or mistakes by the government. As customary, local groups concerned with press freedom, including the Tunisian Observatory for Press Freedom and the Tunisian Journalists' Syndicate, hesitated--until Wednesday--to rebut the president's statements.

March 26, 2009 1:48 PM ET

Blog   |   Tunisia

Tunisia's Radio Kalima shuttered; staffers harassed

Ever since Radio Kalima staffers launched their new station on January 26, Tunisian plainclothes police have done everything they can to suppress the newly launched satellite radio station: besieging the offices for several days, threatening a managing editor with a knife, and finally breaking into the building and confiscating the equipment.

February 12, 2009 5:26 PM ET


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