Resolution of the Tunisian Independent Civil Society (January 2005)
(Translation by WSIS Human Rights Caucus from the French original version. See also Spanish version, translated by WSIS Human
In the framework of their mobilization related to the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), organizations
of the Tunisian Independent Civil Society met at the LTDH (Tunisian Human Rights League) headquarters in Tunis on
January 18, 2005, to elaborate their perspectives of actions regarding WSIS subsequent steps.
The signatory organizations:
The Coordination of the Tunisian Independent Civil Society will work in common towards the following objectives:
- Remind that the intergovernmental Summit of Geneva has adopted a Declaration of Principles
affirming the centrality of human rights and of freedom of expression as fundamental principles of the information
- Consider that the WSIS will meet in a country where blatant undermining of freedoms of expression,
of information and of opinion by the authorities are denounced by all international human rights organizations.
- Remind that Hammamet PrepCom has not occurred in sound conditions: attempts to obstruct the work
of the NGOs gathered in plenary session by turning the meeting into chaos and by bringing people with full buses,
disinformation, violent verbal aggressiveness, hindrance to the dissemination of documents and even to the freedom of
expression. They hope that this kind of behavior will not occur anymore.
- Consider WSIS as an opportunity to make aware the national and international
opinion of serious hindrance imposed by the Tunisian authorities to the democratic life. Indeed, the censorship
constantly exercized by the Tunisian authorities forbids the free exercize of these rights and freedoms, specially
the freedom to communicate. In addition, existing independent organizations, active for years, are denied the right
to participate in their own name to WSIS because the Tunisian authorities are denying them their official
- Intend to coordinate their action and to make profit of this opportunity to increase the
pressure on the Tunisian government, in order to have these obstacles to the full exercize of fundamental rights
and freedoms removed.
- Affirm their intention to pursue their action in the framework of the preparatory process of
WSIS second phase. To this end, the signatory organizations agree on the principle of their grouping into a
Coordination of the Tunisian Independent Civil Society, which functioning modalities and bases will be defined soon.
This Coordination, which is open to the participation of all other constituents of the Tunisian Independent Civil
Society, has the following objectives:
- To elaborate a common platform of claims and actions in the framework of WSIS preparation,
regarding national and international issues.
- To establish links with the International Civil Society, specially WSIS thematic and regional
caucuses, in particular through the organization of civil forums or any other initiative they consider useful
during WSIS meetings to be held in Tunisia.
- Each constituent of the Coordination will take care of elaborating specific proposals in line
with its own concerns, in relation to WSIS.
- The recognition of the independent civil society organizations rights to act legally and to
freely exercize their activities in Tunisia.
- The recognition of all citizens rights to freedom of expression, including the freedom to
create, publish and disseminate journals using any medium.
- The removal of any form of Internet censorship and the respect of freedom to browse the
Internet, in accordance with international norms.
- The release of the persons put in jail because they exercized their right to freedom of expression
and association in accordance with international conventions, specially the Zarzis Internet users and the Ariana
- The assurance that local and international human rights organizations and other civil society
organizations, as well as local and international medias, will freely participate to WSIS, and freely publish and
disseminate documents without censorship threats or intimidations.
The coordination is pleased about Tunisian Independent Civil Society actions already or currently being undertaken,
like the organization of missions to monitor and control the necessary conditions for the good course of WSIS.
- National Association of Former Resistance Fighters (Amicale Nationale des Anciens Résistants, ANAR)
- Association of Free Writers (Association des Ecrivains Libres, AEL)
- International Association for the Support of Political Prisoners (Association Internationale pour le Soutien des Prisonniers Politiques, AISPP)
- Association for the Fight against Torture in Tunisia (Association de Lutte contre la Torture en Tunisie, ALTT)
- National Council for Freedoms in Tunisia (Conseil National pour les Libertés en Tunisie, CNLT)
- French Tunisian Human Rights League (Ligue Tunisienne pour la défense des Droits de l'Homme, LTDH)
- Observatory for the Freedom of the Press, Publishing and Creating (Observatoire pour la Liberté de
Presse, d'Edition et de Création, OLPEC)
- Union for a Development Alternative (Rassemblement pour une Alternative de Développement, RAID-Attac Tunisie)
- Tunisian Journalists Trade Union (Syndicat des journalistes tunisiens, SJT)