Stories about Middle East & North Africa from May, 2009
Iranian news sites reported that Twitter and Iranian Fararu news site are accessible again.
On Thursday 14 May 2009, the 5th Criminal Chamber of the Court of First Instance in Tunis convicted the 22-year old ICT Student, Mariam Zouaghi, who was in custody, on separate terrorist-related charges, and sentenced her to six years in prison. Mariam Zouaghi is the first Tunisian woman to be convicted under The Anti-Terrorism Act of 10 December 2003.
The Egyptian blogger Tamer Mabrouk was punished yesterday, not by being sent to a prison cell, but was fined L.E. 2500 (446 USD), and civil compensation of L.E. 40.000 (7272 USD). A Court of Appeal in Port Said (Suez Canal) upheld the decision to sentence the blog Al-Hakika Al-Mesreyya (The Egyptian Truth) to a fine for Trust Chemical inc., which has filed a Libel and Slander case against Mabrouk in June 2008.
Iranian news sites and blogs report that FaceBook is not anymore filtered in Iran. Senoghteh says [fa] that national and international protest forced Iranian government to make FaceBook available again.
Alexandra Sandels, from MENASSAT, writes her interview with Walid Al-Saqaf, a Sweden-based Yemeni Internet expert, regarding the launch of his new program Al-Kasir (means the circumventer in Arabic) – during a summit on blogging in Cairo which was entitled “Blogging for the Future“. Al-Kasir, which is currently available in its...
Several Iranian sites and blogs such as demokracy reported that Face Book and Twitter got filtered in Iran.Ghomar,says President Ahmadinejad wants to beat his rivals in the presidential election and they are much more present than him in the world of internet including Face Book.
Iran based Fararu news site announced [fa] today that Iranian authorities have filtered the site. Fararu's managers got no information about the reason (s) of filtering.
After being detained for 15 days under investigation, the Egyptian blogger Ahmed Mohsen is to still imprisoned, as he is accused of "Exploiting the democratic climate to overthrow the government". Mohsen was arrested on April 29th, 2009, after a State Security force broke into his house in Fayoum govern-ate (North) and searched it.
After a short hiatus, the dreaded Ammar 404 has once again attacked the Tunisian blogosphere. Ammar is the nickname given by Tunisian bloggers to the censorship machine plaguing their access to the Internet and his victim this time is Zig Zag blog by 3amrouch. Tunisian bloggers show solidarity with their colleague by reprinting the material which blocked his blog in the first place.
Minister of media and culture Mai Alkhalifa in her first interview with BNA (Bahrain News Agency) which is managed by her, again she threatening the online activism and said the blocking is the first step and we might take more steps to apply the roles “ خطوة الحجب جاءت كإجراء،...
Yemeni government ordered the confiscation of six national newspapers, whose copies were pulled from the news stands and markets across the country yesterday alleging their role in promoting secessionism and anti-unity rhetoric. The move, according to observers, is unprecedented in recent Yemeni history and marks a serious downturn in the country's level of press freedom, which had already suffered several blows in the recent past.