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Saturday, July 12, 2008

Press Freedom Groups criticize Sarkozy

A coalition of international press freedom organisations raised concerns with French President Nicolas Sarkozy about ignoring human rights violations in Tunisia as he seeks to create a Union for the Mediterranean at the summit meeting on 13 July. According to the World Association of Newspapers and 17 press freedom organisation Mr Sarkozy underestimates the tendency to resort to censorship, intimidation and
violence in Tunesia.

In a letter to Mr. Sarkozy they wrote: "It seems essential that the French government does not underestimate the seriousness of the human rights violations in Tunisia." And “it is furthermore essential that France adopts and promotes a policy in accordance with the values of the Republic, by inviting the Tunisian authorities to respect their international human rights obligations, specifically those in favour of freedom of expression and the press."

Members of the Tunisia Monitoring Group include: Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (Egypt); ARTICLE 19 (United Kingdom); Canadian Journalists for Free Expression; Cartoonists Rights Network International (United States); Egyptian Organization for Human Rights; Index on Censorship (United Kingdom); International Federation of Journalists; International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions; International Press Institute; International Publishers’ Association; Journaliste en danger (Democratic Republic of Congo); Maharat Foundation (Lebanon); Media Institute of Southern Africa; Norwegian PEN; World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters; World Association of Newspapers; World Press Freedom Committee; and the Writers in Prison Committee of International PEN.

Read the full letter

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