Blogs: Censorship in Tunisia – Zensur in Tunesien

Anfang Oktober nahm ich auf Einladung der Deutschen Welle Akademie an der Young Media Summit 2010 in Kairo statt. Auf der Veranstaltung trafen deutsche und arabische Blogger zusammen. Es  waren spannende und schöne Tage. Am Rand der Veranstaltung fragte ich die tunesische Bloggerin Leena, ob sie bereit wäre, einen Gastbeitrag über die Zensur und Verfolgung von Bloggern in Tunesien zu schreiben. Hier ist Leenas  Text. Stefan Laurin
Kommentar bitte nur in Englisch. For this article we ask you to  write your comments  in English.

Starting from the last days of April, an enormous and violent wave of censorship hit the blogosphere and the internet, in general, in Tunisia. Young Tunisian net surfers expressed their anger and disdain in different ways such as launching virtual campaigns against censorship. From our Guest Author Leena Ben Mhenni

Discussions about organizing a demonstration or gathering led to the creation of a mailing list to discuss the matter thoroughly. Progressively a date has been fixed. Two young persons without any political affiliation namely Slim Amamou and Yassine Ayari volunteered to deliver the gathering affidavit to the ministry of interior.

In fact, they drafted the document with the help of some friends with a good mastering of Tunisian laws.

Once in front of the ministry of interior, they were denied the access to the building. So they tried to deliver the document to the general director of national security, but they have known the same fate there and have been referred to the governorate of Tunis. There, the same has happened again.

Therefore, Slim Amamou and Yassine Ayari sent the document to the three institutions listed above with acknowledgement of receipt via post. But, they never received a reply.

After the first trial of the delivery of the document. Yassine and Slim sent a fax with the details of the story that they wrote with the help of Hana and myself , and a copy of the documents to all the Tunisian newspapers. But just one newspaper “Al mawkif”, the piece mouth of a dissident party published an article about the story .

Meanwhile, they consulted an attorney in order to avoid any infringement of the laws. The latter suggested some improvements on the document and advised them to add a third signature to it, to avoid the rejection of the gathering notice. Lina Ben Mhenni( Me) , a Tunisian blogger with no political affiliation signed the document too. The three of us re-sent it to the same three institutions, with acknowledgement of receipt but we never received any replies and we did not know about the fate of the previous documents as we never received the acknowledgements of receipt.

We went to inquire about the matter in the post office and to present a complaint.

According to Tunisian laws an affirmative answer or the absence of reply equals the legitimacy of the gathering.Nevertheless , we decided to record a video , to announce that we never received a reply and to advise people to avoid coming on Saturday .

But before , recording the video Slim and Yassine disappeared. In fact , they had been arrested and forced to make videos to announce that the gathering has been delayed .

Leena Ben Mhenni is the Author of the Blog A Tunisian Girl

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Franz Kollege
Franz Kollege
13 Jahre zuvor

Keep at it, Tunisian girl. Your country has been the worst in terms of media censorship even by Arab standards. It’s a last-ditch fight though, and the reason is you.

Tunisian Girl
13 Jahre zuvor

Thanks for your comment. Yes, we have to fight.The road towards freedom is too long.


[…] Gastbeitrag von Ben Mehnn über die Unterdrückung der tunesischen Blogger auf den Ruhrbaronen veröffentlicht. Wir kennen uns jetzt, stehen in Kontakt miteinander und wenn einem der arabischen Kollegen etwas […]

Andreas Lichte
13 Jahre zuvor

Dear Leena Ben Mhenn,

it has been a long time I read your article. I like it very much.

But I didn’t know what to say. Was I supposed to say:

„You do a great job – keep going!“?

That is what I think.

But encouraging you would mean to take some responsibility:

I really don’t want you to end up in prison or something the like.


[…] Artikel über den Young Media Summit bei und bei Tags: Blogs, BOBs, Dialog, Internet, Soziale Medien, Syrien   Start […]

Michael Kolb
13 Jahre zuvor

Well, according to the recent incidents and events in Tunisia it seems to be more important then ever, to support people like Leena. People like her are an great opportunity for her own country, maybe there will be now a road to something, that we would name „freedom of speech“ or just „freedom“ at all. People like here are even an opportunity for us to gain more information about an region and a culture, that, over the time, became more and more opaque and incomprehensible for people like me.

Because of the fact, that there are no really well based informations about the situation, the people and the casualties, I’m only able to hope, that Leena is still unhurt and safe.

Matthew C. Kriner
12 Jahre zuvor



[…] wieder in Konflikt mit der Staatsgewalt. Auf den Ruhrbaronen schrieb Leena im Oktober 2010 einen Gastbeitrag über Zensur in Tunesien, ihr Blog gewann den Blog-Award der Deutschen […]


[…] wieder in Konflikt mit der Staatsgewalt. Auf den Ruhrbaronen schrieb Leena im Oktober 2010 einen Gastbeitrag über Zensur in Tunesien, ihr Blog gewann den Blog-Award der Deutschen […]