Jillian C. York

Jillian C. York is a writer and activist.

Tunisian Blogger Slim Amamou Arrested

I am incredibly saddened and deeply enraged to report that my good friend Slim Amamou, Tunisian blogger and activist, was arrested yesterday (see @Malekk’s announcement here).  After no one had heard from him for several hours, Slim posted his location to FourSquare to let his friends know where he was.  The location?  The Ministry of Interior.

I met Slim in December 2009 in Beirut, at the 2nd Arab Bloggers Workshop organized by Global Voices Advocacy and the Heinrich Boll foundation.  We immediately connected–over Al Maza, of course–and had many good conversations that week.  When I cried like an idiot at the end of the conference, Slim was the first to come over and hug me.  Over the past year, Slim has helped me immensely on a number of projects, often doing me huge favors by testing websites or explaining something technical to me.  He is one of those people endlessly saying “yes” to people, always helping friends.

With Slim, December 2009, Beirut

Last month, he was invited to speak at Yale and lucky for me, visited Cambridge for the afternoon.  I took him to the coffeehouse Algiers, which amused him as much as it did me.  He looked different, his hair was flying all over the place.  His colleague from Yale told me that he couldn’t cut it, it had become his trademark in Tunisia.

Slim’s “crime”?  Speaking openly, tirelessly, and fearlessly about censorship, as far as I know.  I call loudly on all of you to speak out against the pervasive Internet filtering in Tunisia, the arrests of journalists and of bloggers, and the lack of media attention being paid to these crimes, particularly in the United States (an ally of Tunisia).

13 Comments

  1. I really hope the bad times in Tunisia come to an end really soon. And I hope your friend can be home very soon.

  2. he ll be free very soon, Tunisia ll be changed very quickly.
    i hope that this mafia regime ll be trashed as soon as possible. Tunisia must be free.
    In my opnion it ll be reality, that tunisians express threselves uncencored in a peaceful country

  3. There are plenty of ways you can hurt a man and bring him to the ground
    You can beat him, you can cheat him
    You can treat him bad and leave him when he’s down
    But we’re ready, yes we’re ready for you
    We’re standing on our own two feet
    Out of the info highway the posts rip, echoing the task to complete. Oh yeeeah
    Another one bites the dust

  4. It is comming, it is comming. Winds of change are blowing!!!

    Free tunisia!!!!

  5. Slim and Azyz are still detained by Tunisian government and rumors say that they will be accused of defacing and ddossing government web sites.
    Tunisian government think that Slim and Azyz are behind Anonymous Operation Tunisian.
    Please write about it, it may Help Slim and Azyz

  6. It is comming, it is comming. Winds of change are blowing!!! Free tunisia!!!!

  7. Thank you so much for mentioning Slim’s arrest and more broadly the current events in Tunisia.
    The police shooting at civilians who were demonstrating is outrageous. Not to mention the numerous arrests…
    These events are not being covered enough by American media, so again and again a BIG TAHNK YOU
    I think we’ve reached a point of no return and things will anyway never be the same again in Tunisia, and that’s already a victory
    Hope to read your next post about Slim’s release

  8. Contractors based in the United States and other countries are being used to filter entire country’s internet service, in the same way that a corporate server might be configured. However, suppose that these very efficient firewall programs were used to isolate and replace harmless code, implanting the javascript that hacked userid’s and logins? Who would have the capability of altering the current firewall? And how do you think the host country of that company would view this clear act of hacking an enduser’s machine? Blocking websites is not the same as hacking for passwords, although the same piece of software could have been used for both. I have not been able to do enough research on this issue but it appears to me that there may be a case to be made if indeed, the hacking occurred in this manner. It would be a groundbreaker, and one that could change the way private contractors negatively affect countries like Tunisia.

  9. the story of Slim is close and dear to my heart.. I have been following it and still am. I’m hearing he’s been released but no one was able to contact him.. His sister told a friend that he was released.. I salute his courage and ethics and pray that what he’s been through will pave the way for a new FREE Tunisia!

  10. An agitprop image of Slim is on Wikimedia Commons and Wikipedia now.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010%E2%80%932011_Tunisian_protests#Arrests

    Any and all constructive input is welcome. E.g., what is the provenance of the term “Jasmine Revolution,” exactly? Is this the first /bona fide/ Arabic revolution? (Edit boldly!)

    Cheers!

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