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Internet Governance the WSIS summit
international | sci-tech | news report Monday November 14, 2005 14:24 by iosaf
This week the second and final meeting of the "World Summit on the Information Society" takes place in Tunis, starting on Wednesday.
I can't really explain all this to you in a monday lunchtime. And I feel that amongst the regular contributors to indymedia ireland, there are surely people who can explain the issues better than i can.
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Good work in informing us about this - I hadn't heard anything about it elsewhere
and returned (to France) in the same plane.
Travelling with Robert Ménard, (a critic of Tunisian human rights on both press and internet) was Christophe Ayad special correspondent of Liberation the french leftwing daily. They were told at the Tunisian airport that "they weren't welcome in tunisia"
This doesn't bode well does it?
Robert Ménard prevented from attending the UN Internet summit
Reporters Without Borders said it was outraged after the Tunisian authorities turned back its Secretary General Robert Ménard on his arrival in Tunis to attend the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS).
Plain clothes Tunisian police officers physically prevented Ménard from leaving an Air France plane after it touched down in Tunis on 17 November 2005. One officer told the head of the worldwide press freedom organisation that he had no right to get off the plane since he did not have accreditation for the WSIS.
Reporters Without Borders said, “We are also staggered by the complicity of the organisers of the World Summit on the Information Society and to some extent, France, which did nothing to ensure his attendance at this international summit.
“From being a masquerade, the WSIS has turned into a scandal,” the organisation added.
As Ménard was prevented from leaving the plane, another police officer filmed the incident without permission from the Air France crew.
Ménard told police that it was untrue he did not have accreditation, his UN accreditation number was 10 30 191. He received no further explanation from police officers at the door of the plane and on the tarmac. The plane’s captain told him to stay on board and issued him with a return ticket on the same aircraft.
Robert Ménard was due to arrive back at Roissy CDG (Paris) at 14.20 on AF 1985.
No WSIS organiser nor any representative of the French embassy had been present to receive him in Tunis.
Executive director of the WSIS, Charles Geiger, had said in a statement on 16 November that Robert Ménard was not welcome at the summit, although his office had given him accreditation. He referred to a claim made by the Tunisian authorities that an official complaint had been laid against Ménard in Tunisia.
Geiger admitted that he had not confirmed the existence of the complaint. Moreover, the president of the Tunisian bar told Reporters Without Borders’s lawyer that he was unaware of any such complaint.
background info on freedom of the press in tunisia
"You have no rights here, but welcome to Tunisia !"
Reporters Without Borders condemns the absence of information pluralism and the harassment of independent journalists
Civil Society's Media Caucus at WSIS expresses its indignation over a series of incidents in which Tunisian authorities have hampered the freedom of expression of journalists and their freedom of association as well as that of others attending the Tunis phase of the World Summit on the Information Society. [Incidents include:]
# Christophe Boltanski, a correspondent for the Paris daily newspaper 'Libération', was beaten and stabbed and had his personal effects stolen near his hotel in the embassy district. When he cried for help, guards standing outside a nearby embassy did not intervene. The attack took place a day after Libération published Boltanski's report about clashes between police and activists protesting in support of seven hunger strikers campaigning for the release of political prisoners in Tunisia.
# Representatives of Tunisian and foreign media and human rights organisations were prevented by a large number of Tunisian plainclothes police from entering the Goethe Institute, the cultural centre of the German Embassy in Tunis, for a meeting to plan events parallel to the Summit.
# A Belgian television cameraman approaching the Institute had his camera seized by plainclothes police who forced themselves into the TV crew's vehicle. The camera was only returned after the film cassette had been confiscated. The police stated that no pictures may be taken in Tunisia without prior official authorisation and prevented another reporter from taking photographs of the incident. A Tunisian journalist approaching the site was beaten by police.
# Various websites which have contained criticism of Tunisia are available to the delegates at the official WSIS venue, but remain blocked and censored in the rest of Tunisia.