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Egyptian and Tunisian Bloggers against Censorship

In December 2006 frustrated Tunisian bloggers launched the “Action Blank Post” initiative in defense of freedom of speech. Supporting bloggers from all over the world posted a blank on their blogs on the 25th of December, and now bloggers have united again in this anti-censorship tradition.

Bloggers sent out invitations using their facebook group (FR)

En décembre 2006 est née “Action Note Blanche”, une initiative de blogueurs tunisiens, frustrés de voir la censure leur interdire l'accès à de nombreux blogs et sites internet. Ce groupe a pour objectif de réunir tous les blogueurs et internautes tunisiens ou autres qui défendent la liberté d'expression et souhaitent voir la censure desserrer son emprise sur la toile.

Le 25 décembre, comme chaque année, tous ceux qui souhaitent participer devront publier sur leurs blogs, sites perso ou forum une “note blanche”, vide sans titre ou portant le logo de l'action pour cette année.

Défendons encore une fois le message!

and their anti-censorship blog (AR)

التدوينة البيضاء اصبحت للاسف تقليدا سنويا للمدونات التونسية نظرا للحجب المتواصل الذي عانت ولا زالت تعاني منه المدونات التونسية؛ حجب يطال كل مدونة تتخطى الخط الأحمر المرسوم في اذهان “عمال” الرقابة ( و افضل هنا لفظة عامل رقابة على لفظة عون رقابة لاني لا أرى في مهمتهم هذه عونا او مصلحة تذكر)؛فضاء التدوين خلق ليكون مجالا للتعبير الحر نجح الشباب التونسي كغيره من الشباب العربي في السيطرة على تقنياته و خلق بذلك لنفسه فضاء موازيا للتعبير لم يعد مظطرا فيه للعبور عبر القنوات الاعلامية التقليدية؛ فبرزت بذلك لغة جديدة تعبر عن هموم الشباب و مشاكله و اصبحت لما تتميز به من عفوية و صدق تجلب جمهورا سئم اللغة الخشبية السائدة في الخطاب الاعلامي الرسمي؛ نجاح المدونات العربية ما كان ليمر دون عقاب في بلاد لا يسمح فيها بحرية الرأي الا في الرياضة و الفن؛ فكان الحجب المتواصل للمدونات و المواقع؛ بل وصل الأمر الى السجن و الاختطاف كما حصل مع مدونين في مصر و السعودية و المغرب؛ لذا ادعو هنا كل المدونات العربية الى مشاركتنا في هذه الحملة السلمية للتنديد بالحجب و المضايقات التي يتعرض لها المدونون في كل البلاد العربية؛ يمكنكم المشاركة في الحملة بوضع احدى شعارات الحملة و تسجيل تضامنكم معنا في مدونة ضد الحجب حتى نتمكن من احصاء عدد المشاركين و شكرا لكم مسبقا
Unfortunately the Blank Post has become an annual tradition in Tunisia as a response to the continuous blocking of their blogs whenever they cross a hypothetical red line in the eyes of the “censorship workers”. The whole idea behind a blogosphere is giving youth an opportunity to freely voice their opinions. Like the rest of the Arab youth, young Tunisians mastered technology and transcended traditional media channels; hence, creating a medium of self expression characterized by honesty, transparency, and spontaneity, and attracting an audience that got fed up with formal speeches. The success of Arab blogs did not go unpunished in countries that do not support freedom of expression – many blogs were blocked, filters, or deleted, Egypt, KSA, and Morocco witnessed cases of detained bloggers. I hereby invite all Arab blogs to take part in our peaceful initiative to protest against blocking blogs and harassing bloggers in their respective countries. You can participate by placing the logo of the campaign on you blog in a blank post and registering yourself on our site so we can keep track of our supporters. Thank you in advance.

Out of Egypt, many bloggers supported their Tunisian couterparts. Wael Abbas (Misr Digital), Bella (Scattered Thoughts), Mohamed Hamdy (Blogger Times), Zeinobia (Egyptian Chronicles), Sane on the Land of Insanity (Notepad & Pen), Ahmed Al Sabbagh (Uncle Ahmed Al Sabbagh), Ahmed Abdel Fattah (Yalalaly), An Egyptian Engineer (For the love of Egypt).

2 comments

  • Marwa

    Here is the complete list of the Egyptian Bloggers participated in the event

    http://ocianacafe.googlepages.com/blankpostfortunisia

  • Khedija Arfaoui

    I am for the freedom of expression and consider it a great pity that it should be blocked. I believe that people speak out their minds in order to create a better world, at least this is the way I see it.
    I am interested in youth bloggers’ concerns, having been a teacher for a great many years before I retired a few years ago. Which means that I am an old lady!
    I love my country, Tunisia, and I wish my dear country the best for 2009 and for the years to come.
    Allowing freedom of expression would only strengthen our nation.

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