Post-WSIS civil society letter to Kofi Annan

By EDRi · December 5, 2005

After the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) held in Tunis between 16 and 19 November 2005, a large number of attending civil society organisations decided to write another letter to Kofi Annan, secretary-general of the United Nations. During the WSIS the Tunisian government committed serious attacks on human rights and the right to freedom of expression. These attacks included harassment of delegates, assaults on Tunisian and international journalists and human rights defenders, denial of entry to the country, the blocking of websites, the censorship of documents and speeches, and the prevention and disruption of meetings. See also the report on the disturbance of a panel on freedom of expression, in EDRI-gram 3.23.

In the letter they ask him to investigate the attacks on human rights experienced by the participants during the Summit. “We believe it is essential that lessons are learnt from what has taken place here this week and we therefore call upon you, the Secretary General of the United Nations, to launch a full investigation into the attacks on human rights and freedom of expression that we have witnessed in Tunisia both in the run-up to and during the World Summit on the Information Society. We ask you to closely monitor the follow-up period in Tunisia.”

On 1 October 2005 civil society organisations already sent a joint letter expressing very serious concerns about the suitability of Tunisia as a host country. Annan kindly replied on 27 October 2005, indicating he shared those concerns.

Civil society letter to Kofi Annan (28.11.2005)

EDRI-gram 3.23, WSIS special