Tunisia: Censorship Again and Again!

More than ever before, censorship seems to become the rule in Tunisia. The last two weeks in the Tunisian blogosphere witnessed a war launched by Ammar (the nickname given to the Tunisian censorship apparatus), who has been censoring blogs arbitrarily.

Following the censorship of Fatma Arabicca and Sofiene Chourabi's blogs, two other blogs had been censored. One of them is the Free Jailed Tunisian students , seen in the following screen shot:

freejailed tunisian studenst

The second blog blocked is Nocturnal Thoughts . The censorship of the latter created a wave of protests on the Tunisian blogosphere.

Ghodwa Nahrek(Tomorrow I will illegally immigrate) wrote:

عمار قالك ماعادش يحب أفكار ليلية.. يحب على افكار في القايلة
مدونة “أفكار ليلية” متاع خونا و صديقنا طارق الكحلاوي تعرضت اليوم للحجب بعد اكثر من الـ3 سنوات من التدوين المتواصل في المواضيع الهامة و الحساسة . مقصّ الرقابة في تونس ولات عندو دلالات اخرى و تجاوز كونه شكل من اشكال القمع و الحد من حرية التعبير بقدر ماهو وسام للمدوّن و شهادة من الرقيب نفسه في قيمة المدونة و اهمية المواضيع المطروحة فيها.
مبروك للصديق طارق و مرحبا به مجددا في نادي المدونات المحجوبة
Ammar said that he doesn’t like Nocturnal Thoughts anymore. He prefers afternoon thoughts. Nocturnal Thoughts, the blog of our friend and brother Tarek Kahlaoui, had been censored after more than three years of continuous blogging about interesting and sensitive subjects. In Tunisia, the scissors of censorship acquired new significance. It is no onger a form of oppression and a limit to freedom of expression as it is a medal for the blogger and a certificate from the censor showing the value of a blog and the importance of the subjects it deals with. Congratulations to our friend Tarek and welcome again in the club of censored blogs.

Matrka(Hammer) blogged saying:

المدونات تصل الجميع والامكانيات تتطور كل يوم
افكار ليلية، مدونة طارق الكحلاوي، مدونة ممتازة تستحق المطالعة والقراءة ويمكن ان يكون الفرد مختلف مع طارق في هذا الموضوع او ذاك، كما يمكن ان يختلف طارق في الرأي مع هذا او ذاك، ولكن حجبها خسارة، بالطبيعة خسارة للناس الي تقرا وتهتم بالقراءة، وحجبها هو عمل متخلف مكانو الطبيعي في بداية القرن العشرين على اكثر تقدير…
Blogs connect people and their potential is evolving every day. Nocturnal Thoughts, the blog of Tarek Kahlaoui, is a good blog which deserves reading. Individuals might not be in total agreement with Tarek about one subject or another. Tarek might have a different opinion from a person or another. But the censorship of his blog is a loss. Of course, it is a loss for those who read and are interested in reading, and its censorship is a retarded action and its normal place is in the beginning of the 20th century…

Samsoum blogged under the title Ammar does not like thoughts and thinkers especially those who blog about their nocturnal thoughts saying:

واللَه مانيش مصدَق اللي مدونة طارق الكحلاوي تصنصرت خاطر نسيت اللي عمار مقص ما عندوش لوجيك يمشي بيها في ميدان التصنصير و ممكن كي فطن اللي الموضوع فيه تفكير و كلام صعيب شوية قال مانخوش الريسك و اللي خاف نجي يعني صنصر طوَا و لوَج عي سبب من بعد
الحاصل مرحبا بطارق في نادي المصنصرين و انشالله العمليَة الارهابية متاع عمار تزيد تشجعك بش تزيد تنورنا بافكارك اكثر من قبل و مدونتي مفتوحة طالما عمار موش رادد بالو
والله الواحد يحشم علي روحو كيعرف انو استاذ يكتب في صحف اجنبية و يقري في الاجانب في تاريخ الفن يتم صنصرته في بلاده لأنو تجرَء و فكَر…
I can’t believe that the blog of Tarek Kahlaoui had been censored because I forgot that ”Ammar the Scissors“ does not have a logic to follow in the field of censorship. Maybe he discovered that the subject includes thinking and difficult discourse and decided to avoid risks so he decided to censor the blog immediately and to find an argument for this censorship later on.
Welcome Tarek in the club of the censored bloggers and I hope that the terrorist actions of Ammar, will give you courage to enlighten us with your thoughts more than before. And my blog is open to you as long as Ammar did not pay attention to it.
One is really ashamed when he knows that a professor writing in foreign newspapers and teaching the history of art abroad is censored in his own country because he dared to think.


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