Another jailed Internet journalist
: I got email today from the Committee to Protect Journalists:
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), a New York-based press freedom advocacy group is writing to request your signature on a petition we will present to Tunisian President Zine El Abdine Ben Ali, asking for the release of imprisoned Tunisian Internet journalist, Zouhair Yahyaoui.
Yahyaoui, 35, has been in jail since June 4, 2002 after authorities arrested him at the Internet cafe where he worked. The website he ran under a pseudonym, Tunezine.com (similar to a blog) carried material critical of the regime and of the Tunisian president, and on June 20, 2002, he was sentenced to 28 months in jail after being found guilty of publishing false information and using stolen communication lines to post his site. An appeals court later reduced the sentence to exactly two years. Yahyaoui’s only transgression was that he dared challenge the government, something few journalists do in a police state like Tunisia which has imprisoned, assaulted and harassed critical journalists since Ben Ali came to power in 1987.
As part of CPJ’s campaign, we are hoping to gain the support of his fellow Internet journalists here in the United States, (who luckily, will not suffer the same fate as Zouhair Yahyaoui for being critical of the government.)