Freedom House has worked to strengthen freedom of expression and human rights in Tunisia, where the country’s recent revolution and efforts at democratic consolidation have created an opportunity to adopt new laws protecting freedom of expression and belief and granting access to information rights. Although Tunisia ranked Partly Free in Freedom of the Press 2012, there are still serious episodes of censorship and violence against journalists, as the country continues to debate where the limits and rights to free expression should lie.
In an effort to encourage fair, open debate surrounding issues of freedom of expression, Freedom House partnered with Munathara, an independent, non-profit, Arab debate initiative that brings together liberals, conservatives, and those who typically go unheard. In June, Munathara held a debate exploring the issue of freedom of expression in the Arab World. You can listen to it on iTunes or watch it on YouTube. More information on this and other debates is available on Munathara’s YouTube and Facebook pages.
In addition to this partnership, Freedom House is a member of the International Freedom of Expression Exchange Tunisia Monitoring Group (IFEX-TMG), a coalition that monitors freedom of expression rights in Tunisia through broad engagement with civil society through monitoring, reporting, and advocacy efforts on the ground. Specifically, IFEX-TMG aims to achieve full freedom of expression in Tunisia through legislative and administrative reform, good practice and sustainability for all media, and opening space for independent civil society organizations.
(Above) 15 Countries Participate in June 2012 Munathara Debates
(Above) Debate Participants Discuss Freedom of Expression Issues
Gulf States Cast Dim Eye on Reform After Tumult (New York Times)
Tunisia Must Provide Concrete Protections for Journalists (Freedom House Press Release)
President’s Ouster Provides Opportunity for Reform in Tunisia (Freedom House Press Release)
Outlook for democracy in post-uprising North Africa (Freedom House Blog)
For more on freedom of expression in Tunisia: