Tunisia press release: The Siege Holds
11 April 2007
Fourth TMG Report Launched Worldwide
“Freedom of Expression in Tunisia: The Siege Holds”
In its fourth report on freedom of expression conditions in Tunisia, the International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX) Tunisian Monitoring Group (TMG) concludes that it is still increasingly important that free expression and human rights groups, as well as the international community at large still keep monitoring developments in Tunisia.
“Freedom of Expression in Tunisia: The Siege Holds” is the fourth TMG report since February 2005 and is based on a recent (28 February – 4 March) mission to Tunisia. The report will be launched worldwide on 11 April at a press conference in Cairo hosted by the Arabic Human Rights Information Network (HRinfo), as well as at an event hosted by the World Press Freedom Committee (WPFC) in Washington. The report, available in English, French and Arabic, will also be launched in Geneva and Paris.
Tunisian authorities have rejected all previous recommendations from the TMG. The new report states that “lack of positive change has led us to conclude that the Tunisian government has sought to further stifle dissidents since the previous TMG report of May 2006. As the present report reflects, it is therefore necessary to maintain and strongly reiterate all past recommendations from the TMG to Tunisian authorities.” This includes calling for the liberation of unjustly jailed human rights activist and lawyer Mohamed Abbou.
The TMG is a group of 16 freedom of expression organisations in the IFEX network. The recent mission was chaired by Carl Morten Iversen of Norwegian PEN. Other members of the delegation were Yousef Ahmed of Index on Censorship, Virginie Jouan of the World Association of Newspapers (WAN) and Alexis Krikorian of the International Publishers Association (IPA). Sherif Azer of the Egyptian Organization of Human Rights (EOHR) was prevented from receiving a visa on time by the Tunisian Embassy in Cairo, which treated him rudely.
The report is available on-line on the TMG websites at:
– English: http://campaigns.ifex.org/tmg/IFEXTMGreport_April2007.doc
– French: http://campaigns.ifex.org/tmg/rapportduIFEXTMG_avril2007.doc
For further information about the report, contact:
Carl Morten Iversen, Norwegian PEN, at tel: + 47 2247 9220/926 88 023 or e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com (English)
Alexis Krikorian, IPA, at tel: + 41 22830 1080/7921 45 530 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org(English or French)
Gamal Eid, HRinfo, at tel: +202 524 9544 (Arabic) or e-mail: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Members of the IFEX-TMG are:
Arabic Human Rights Information Network (HRinfo), Egypt
ARTICLE 19, UK
Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE), Canada
Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR), Egypt
Index on Censorship, UK
International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), Belgium
International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), The Netherlands
International Press Institute (IPI), Austria
International Publishers’ Association (IPA), Switzerland
Journaliste en danger (JED), Democratic Republic of Congo
Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA), Namibia
Norwegian PEN, Norway
World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC), Canada
World Association of Newspapers (WAN), France
World Press Freedom Committee (WPFC), USA
Writers in Prison Committee of International PEN (WiPC), UK