The German radio station Deutsche Welle has published the list of nominees for its weblog contest, including those chosen by Reporters Without Borders for the “freedom of expression” category. The bloggers who have been singled out include former Tunisian judge Mokhtar Yahyaoui, currently on a hunger strike in protest against President Ben Ali’s repressive policies.
From the more than 130 blogs proposed by Internet users, Reporters Without Borders and Deutsche Welle picked the shortlist of eight because of a particular passion they have displayed in their defence of free expression. All of these eight blogs carry news and information not found in the traditional media. Internet users can vote on www.thebobs.de to indicate who they prefer. But it will be up to the panel of judges to choose the final winners. The results will be announced on 21 November.
These are the eight nominees in the special category sponsored by Reporters Without Borders :
China Digital Times (http://chinadigitaltimes.net)
A news blog about China that is published outside of the country. A very rich source for those who want to follow Chinese current affairs.
Chronique déplaisante d’une
dictature ordinaire (http://www.addisferengi.net)
A French resident in Addis Ababa criticises repression in Ethiopia. The blog includes lots of interviews with Ethiopian dissidents.
Manal and Alaa Bit Bucket (www.manalaa.net)
An Egyptian blog promoting free expression and human rights. A forum for discussion, but also a resource centre for Arabic-speaking Internet users who would like to set up their own blog.
Wang Yi’s microphone (http://zhivago.tianyablog.com)
A Chinese intellectual who uses his blog as a microphone to denounce the repressive system that rules his country.
Hanif Mazrooie (http://hanif.ir)
An independent Iranian journalist’s blog which led to its author spending a month in prison in September 2004.
One of the oldest Iranian blogs, famous for its open criticism.
Colombian realities (http://lacoctelera.com/realidades)
A Colombian journalist who writes critically about a range of issues including his country’s pervasive violence and corruption.
The blog of former judge Mokhtar Yahyaoui, one of Tunisia’s leading political dissidents and the uncle of cyber-dissident Zouhair Yahyaoui. His blog was recently pirated and rendered unavailable. But it can still be accessed by using Google’s “cached” function (enter yahyaoui + blogspot in Google and then choose the “cached” option).
Mokhtar Yahyaoui is one of seven Tunisian civil society figures who are currently on hunger strike in protest against the lack of freedom in Tunisia, where his blog is censored, along with dozens of others. Nonetheless, Tunis is to host the World Summit on the Information Society on 16-18 November, which is being organised under the aegis of the United Nations.
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