Netizens are deeply concerned about repressive measures used by Tunisian authorities in response to the current protests and political unrest in the country. It urges the government to refrain from the unnecessary use of force against peaceful protesters and to respect the fundamental rights of its people, including the right to freely express dissenting opinions.
The unrest began nearly two weeks ago when a young Tunisian man, Mohamed Bouazizi, set himself on fire to protest the country’s high unemployment rate. The incident, which took place in the provincial town of Sidi Bouzid, became the catalyst that sparked widespread protest and riots that have become a referendum on the government of President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali. Protesters are calling for an end to corruption, nepotism, and restrictions on basic freedoms. There have been reports of Tunisian security forces opening fire on protesters as well as large scale arrests and torture of prisoners. Although traditional media in Tunisia is heavily restricted and authorities have sophisticated methods for repressing internet freedom, reports of the protests have spread through non-traditional forms of media as bloggers and regular citizens have been tracking the events.
And – this is what strikes me most – hardly any news on this in “western” media.
So I felt very happy yesterday, when I got the chance to interview Lina Ben Mhenni, a Tunisian Teacher Assisstant of linguistics at Tunis University and a blogger. Thanks again to Hisham who connected us. Lina is mainly blogging about freedom of speech, human rights (especially women rights and students rights), social problems, and organ donation awareness . She likes photography, reading, writing, watching movies. Lina is also an athlete but within a special team: The Tunisian National Organ Transplant Team.