Friday, January 7, 2011

The day the Tunisian regime arrested bloggers and a rapper

Updated: see under.
Yesterday. was, apart from a country wide strike of the Tunisian lawyers and demonstrations in many places, the day of the arrest of several bloggers. Also Rapper Hamada Ben Amor, nicknamed 'General Lebled', was arrested by th police. El General is known for his protest songs. One of them  'Rais Lebled' (president of the country) is a kind of open letter to the president in which he invites him to descend to the streets in order to see how difficult the living conditions are. It is the first one below. Another one, 'Tunis Bledna' (Tunisia our country) blames the government for the corruption and the worsening social situation. Here it is the second video. Ben Ali certainly contributes to the popularity of El General thoughout the Arab world. Westerners have to wait for a good translation. My bet is that it surely will come.   


 But yesterday was aldo th day of the arrest of the bloggers and twitter-activists Hamdi Kaloutcha, Azyoz (Azyz Amamyma - left picture) and Slim404 (Slim Amamou - photo right). Early in the morning, at about 6 am, four or five police plainclothes officers arrested the blogger and activist Hamadi Kaloutcha ( at his home, seizing a computer and a central processing unit. They told his wife they were taking him to the nearest police station and “just have a few questions for him  that will only take a few hours”. There has been no news of him since.
 Slim Amamou (!/slim404) was already briefly detained on 21 May 2010 just ahead of a demonstration against web censorship which he planned to hold outside the information ministry in the capital. He is one of the most active bloggers in Tunisia and very critical of the regime. He is a contributor to the blog ReadWriteWeb in France. Human rights activists said that the last thing they knew about him was that he was being held at the interior ministry. Azyz Amamy covered clashes a few weeks ago in Sidi Bouzid. His blog is currently inaccessible (, and his Facebook page has been deactivated.
Meanwhile the regime is tightening censorship of online articles on international media about the current unrest. Isabelle Mandraud, a journalist with the international service of the daily Le Monde, was today refused entry to Tunisia. Hre paper has been banned

And the protests and clashes continue. Below video's of  demonstrations, held today (Friday)  in Sousse, Haffouz, at a college in Kelibia, and at the Taha Hussein College in Tunis. Apart from that, it was reported via Twitter that also demonstration took place in Sfax, Marsa, Kairouan and Sidi Bouzid. (The last video is of a manifestation at the university of Sousse, on Thursday).


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