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Tunisia: Hackers take over Tunisian Foreign Minister Kamel Morjane's Blog

This post is part of our special coverage of Tunisia Revolution 2011.

The frontpage of Morjane's blog

It would seem that Tunisian netizens aren't the only ones resorting to the Internet to rant and let their situation be known .. or maybe not.

Rumours spread like wildfire on the Internet over the previous few minutes after a post, allegedly written by Tunisian Minister of Foreign Affairs Kamel Morjane, was published on his own blog announcing his resignation.

It now turns out that the resignation letter was indeed a hoax, and that the blog has indeed been hacked.

After news of the resignation post spread, Twitter users called for caution in accepting the blog's content for real, particularly after news of a coup in Tunisia early Wednesday morning turned out to be false.

In his alleged resignation, Morjane wrote:

I declare hereby my official resignation from my function as a minister of foreign affairs at the Tunisian government. In
a last effort to assume my responsabilities, I am asking the families
of the tunisian martyrs to accept my sincere condoleances and my deep
regret faced to their common tragedy.
I
assumed the fate of the Tunisian citizens, after marrying the daughter
of one of Ben Ali’s first cousins, and was a member of the family and
part of their clan. I am not proud of my own family, and in an honest
declaration, would be ready to be judged in court at the same time as
they will be. This will be my last service to the Tunisian citizens, in
hope that with my resignation, citizens of Tunisia will be more graceful
towards me and my family.

On Twitter, a riot broke out, with some users celebrating what they termed as the beginning of the end of the Bin Ali regime, and others calling for caution – which only makes sense especially after news circulated about a coup on early Wednesday turned out to be false.

Zizoo from Djerba doubted the letter and tweeted:

It looks like the Morjane resignation is hoax. the letter in arabic contains mistakes and is poorly written

Marc Lynch (abuaardvark) added:

Tunisian FM Morjane resignation letters totally different in Arabic + English; waiting for someone to contact him

And Brian Whitaker noted:

Morjane's blog was probably maintained by one of his staff; he may never have had access to it himself.

The Arabist, from Egypt, was skeptical:

Re-reading the letter of resignation in French and Arabic, I'm getting more skeptical. He offers to be tried in a tribunal for dictatorship?

as was Egyptian Mona Eltahawy, who tweeted:

I hope Morjane's resignation true bec it wld b fantastic for a minister to side w the people for once. Here's wishing&hoping!

Samira Abed was doubtful:

Tunisians doubt it, for they are not used to such heroic acts from their politicians :)

And Tunisian Sami ben Gharbia offered his two cents:

logically, Kamel Morjane should resign if he wants to save his face. Ben ALi will go anyway, it's a matter of days (my 2 cents)

Following the initial euphoria, tweeps smelled a rat and started calling for caution.

Eltahawi tweeted:

Twitterverse – after coup rumours of few days ago, let's slow down. We wld all like Morjane 2 hve resigned & gone but let's confirm

Whitaker remarked:

English version of Morjane letter looks fishy to me. On balance, I reckon it's a hoax.

And the arabist confirmed it was a hoax:

via @, Tunisia's foreign ministry denies Kamel Morjane's resignation. To be continued…

A new post has appeared on the blog, confirming that it was hacked. This poster (Fr) reads:

The new poster on Morjane's blog

To be FREE to express ourselves,
to be informed
to publish
to surf the Web
to demonstrate
to elect our MP
to found a political part
We must UNITE and RESIST

Stay tuned for more coverage from Tunisia.

This post is part of our special coverage of Tunisia Revolution 2011.

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