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Lebanese newspaper's website blocked after publishing WikiLeaks documents

(ANHRI/IFEX) - On 6 December 2010, the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) said that the Tunisian government practiced "their favourite action of blocking serious sites to deprive citizens of access" to information. The government blocked the Lebanese newspaper "Al-Akhbar"'s website ( ) in Tunisia after it published WikiLeaks correspondence between the Tunisian and US foreign affairs departments. This action followed on the heels of the blocking of the WikiLeaks site in Tunisia.

On 4 December, "Al-Akhbar" published a set of documents pertaining to Arab countries, including Tunisia, at the following link: ; as a result, the Tunisian government immediately blocked the site.

Tunisia tops the list of countries that are quick to censor such information.

Gamal Eid , ANHRI's executive director said, "The Tunisian government thinks that blocking WikiLeaks and 'Al-Akhbar' will stop citizens from accessing these important documents. After having been criticized by many, the Tunisian government will be mocked by more for blocking these websites. They failed to succeed in concealing their human rights violations and they are sure to fail in barring these documents. Information and news have wings and are bound to reach the public."

ANHRI views Tunisian citizens as the only possible losers in this situation, as the government has deprived them of access to a distinguished newspaper. However, Tunisians know their way well through proxies and alternate routes provided by many sites on the Internet, reacting to the naïve blocking attempts of their government, says the organisation.

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