repressing the “Expression under Repression” workshop at WSIS

I read from Ethan Zuckermann who is currently in Tunis for the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) some shocking news.
I’m here to help run a workshop titled “Expression Under Repression”, hosted by Hivos and organzied by the Global Voices team. When we arrived at the exhibition hall this morning, we were warned that our workshop could be cancelled. (…) Specifically, it was suggested by Tunisian authorities that “expression under repression has nothing to do with ICT for development.
Yesterday, we were warned that our session could be cancelled by the Tunisian authorities. We also discovered that the session wasn’t listed in the official program guide. Today, we came to the room where the session was to be held and there was a sign on the door stating that the workshop was cancelled. Friends who passed by the UNDP booth on the WSIS floor earlier today heard gossip that the security forces would appear at our session and anyone who attended would be arrested. And I got a few SMSs from people who’d asked about our session at the information booths and had been told there was no information on our session.
It is incredibly stupid for Tunisia to just show its repressive and censorship face when all the world is looking in their direction for the WSIS. And we all should really think about it more often, many countries control Internet and negate freedom of expression to their citizens.
Something you can do (but only a tiny contribution of what we should do) is to join the Electronic Frontier Foundation which, among millions of other worthy campaigns, published How to Blog Safely (see also GlobalVoices technical extension and the Handbook for bloggers and cyber-dissidents published by Reporters Without Borders (RSF).
Just one more shocking news, RSF head Robert Menard was not allowed by Tunisian security officials to leave the plane after his arrival from Paris in Tunis.
Too often, leaving in a country where Internet is not (too much) filtered and there is (enough) freedom of expression I forgot about these important matters. If you care about these matters, do join EFF and follow Ethan’s blog.

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