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Inside the Middle East
January 13, 2011
Posted: 1013 GMT
Tunisian demonstrators hurl objects towards security forces. (Getty Images)
Tunisian demonstrators hurl objects towards security forces. (Getty Images)

CNN's Tim Lister takes a closer look at the important role social media sites are having in the ongoing demonstrations against the government in Tunisia:

The protests that have gripped Tunisia in recent weeks are, to say the least, unusual. Organized dissent in the streets is rarely tolerated in Arab states, and human rights groups say the Tunisian government has had a short fuse when dealing with opponents. But what's going on in Tunisia is all the more unusual because the protests are being organized and supported through online networks centered on Twitter and Facebook.

So prolific are the educated members of the northern African nation's younger generation online that it has become a top priority of the Tunisian government to block and disrupt bloggers and others perceived as opponents.

The U.S. State Department - in an unusual public criticism of a pro-West Arab government - said last week it was concerned about "recent reports that Tunisian ISP providers, at the direction of the government, hacked into the accounts of Tunisian users of American companies including Facebook, and providers of email such as Yahoo and Google, and stealing passwords. This kind of interference," it continued, "threatens the ability of civil society to realize the benefits of new technologies."

Read the rest of the story here

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Filed under: Human Rights •Tunisia


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From my Egyptian Friend   January 28th, 2011 2:31 am ET

To all the people of world

The people in Egypt are under governmental siege. Mubarak regime is banning Facebook, Twitter, and all other popular internet sites. Tomorrow the government will block the 3 mobile phone network and the internet .........completely. And there is news that even the phone landline will be cut tomorrow, to prevent any news agency from following what will happen.

Suez city is already under siege now. The government cut the water supply and electricity, people, including, children and elderly are suffering there now. The patients in hospitals cannot get urgent medical care. The injured protestors are lying in the streets and the riot police are preventing people from helping them. The families of the killed protestors cannot get the bodies of their sons to bury them. This picture is the same in north Saini (El-Sheikh zoyad city) and in western Egypt (Al-salom). The riot police is cracking down on protestors in Ismailia, Alexandria, Fayoum, Shbin Elkoum, and Cairo, the capital, in many neighborhoods across the city.

The government is preparing to crackdown on the protestors in all Egyptian cities. They are using tear gas bombs, rubber and plastic pullets, chemicals like dilutes mustard gas against protestors. Several protestors today have been killed when the armored vehicles of the riot police hit them. Officials in plain clothes carrying blades and knives used to intimidate protestors.

All this has been taken place over the past three days during the peaceful demonstrations in Cairo and other cities. Now, with the suspicious silence of the local media and the lack of coverage from the international media, Mubarak and his gang are blocking all the channels that can tell the world about what is happening.

People who call for their freedom need your support and help. Will you give them a hand?

The activists are flooding the net (youtube and other sites) with thousands of pictures and videos showing the riot police firing on armless people. The police started to use ammunition against protestors. 15-year old girl has been injured and another 25 year old man has been shot in the mouth. While nothing of these has appeared in the media, there is more to happen tomorrow. Will you keep silent? Will you keep your mouth shut while seeing all these cruelty and inhumane actions?

We don’t ask for much, just broadcast what is happening See

Sherif Fanous   January 30th, 2011 6:56 am ET

CNN..... I see only muslum Egyptians being interveiwed and a woman married to an Egyptian beeing interviewed. What does she know about what Egyptians are feeling. Were are the Coptic Orthodox Egyptian Americans? ask us how we feel please!!!!!

Egypt.... The word is watching and listening!!! Now that you ask for your human rights... Dont let it be a double standard!!! My fellow Christians in Egypt have been suffering and asking for their human rights for many years. Will the world hear our cry's now? and will Christians be treated fairly and with equality now that the world is watching???

World..... When this is all over will you turn your back when my fellow Christians are being killed and tortured???? What about our human rights???

Jesus will protect Christians in Egypt!!!!

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