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Blogger wins freedom of speech prize

Text by Tony Todd

Latest update : 2011-03-11

Blogger Riadh Guerfali's website gave Tunisians a voice and access to uncensored information. Nawaat.org had a huge influence during a revolution the shock waves of which have reached all corners of the Arab world.

“Building a free Internet isn’t the hard part – the hard part is creating jobs,” according to prizewinning Tunisian blogger Riadh Guerfali.

Better known online by his pen name “Astrubal”, Guerfali receives on Friday the NetCitizen prize for his work to promote freedom of expression on the Internet. The prize is awarded by French press freedom campaigners Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and Internet giant Google.

Guerfali's website nawaat.org, a collective of Tunisian bloggers created in 2004, played a crucial role in covering the social and political unrest in Tunisia since last December.

It has published information on Tunisia from the whistle-blowing website Wikileaks, as well as practical advice on how not to be identified by authorities when sharing information online.

Guerfali insists that the Tunisian uprising owes much to the explosion in communications technologies, but that it was much more than just a few people using social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook.

“It was everything: the Internet, mobile phones and TV channels like France 24 participated in what happened,”
 

Date created : 2011-03-10

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