The campaign began at the IFEX General Meeting in Baku, Azerbaijan in June 2004, when 31 members of IFEX signed an open letter to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan expressing serious concerns about the decision to host the U.N.-sponsored World Summit on the Information Society in Tunisia. These concerns were reinforced by experiences at the Tunis Summit Preparatory Committee meeting held later that month in Hammamet, Tunisia, when Tunisian government officials and Tunisian government-sponsored "NGOs" sought to suppress any discussion of human rights in Tunisia.
As a result, a number of IFEX members involved in the WSIS process took the decision to establish the IFEX-TMG to observe and report on freedom of expression in Tunisia in the run-up to, and in the period following, the Tunis Summit of the WSIS in November 2005.
Since then, IFEX-TMG members have continued to carry out missions and issue reports and joint actions.
Having monitored the situation in Tunisia since 2004, the IFEX-TMG began a project in 2010 which identified three key obstacles to freedom of expression in the country: political control of the judiciary, denial of the right of civil society groups to meet peacefully, and a diverse array of legislative, administrative and covert tools to censor, manipulate or sabotage the media and deny citizens the right to information.
In January 2011, a year in, that work reached a powerful climax as the groups and individuals that the IFEX-TMG had helped support, promote, network and engage in the country since 2005 took charge of their destinies, to transformative effect, not only in Tunisia but across the Arab world. The change of government has not made these issues any less significant.
The IFEX-TMG issues all information in English, French and Arabic.
To contact the IFEX-TMG, send an e-mail to campaigns (at) ifex dot org.
The members of the IFEX-TMG are:
Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, Egypt: http://www.anhri.net
ARTICLE 19 : http://www.article19.org
Bahrain Center for Human Rights: bahrainrights.org
Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, Egypt: http://www.cihrs.org
Canadian Journalists for Free Expression: http://www.cjfe.org
Cartoonists Rights Network International: http://www.cartoonistrights.org
Egyptian Organisation for Human Rights: http://www.eohr.org
Freedom House: http://freedomhouse.org/
Index on Censorship, UK: http://www.indexoncensorship.org
International Federation of Journalists: http://www.ifj.org
International Federation of Library Association and Institutions: http://www.ifla.org/faife
International Press Institute, Austria: http://www.freemedia.at
International Publishers' Association, Switzerland: http://www.internationalpublishers.org
Journaliste en Danger, Democratic Republic of Congo: http://www.jed-afrique.org
Maharat Foundation, Lebanon: http://www.maharatfoundation.org
Media Institute of Southern Africa, Namibia: http://www.misa.org
Norwegian PEN: http://www.norskpen.no
PEN International - Writers in Prison Committee, UK: http://www.pen-international.org
World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters: http://www.amarc.org
World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers, France: http://www.wan-ifra.org
World Press Freedom Committee, USA: http://www.wpfc.org