New centre to support internet freedom in the Maghreb and Mashreq

Photo taken in Tunis, the site of Alternatives' regional training centre. Photo: Stephen DownesPhoto taken in Tunis, the site of Alternatives’ regional training centre. Photo: Stephen DownesIn many countries of the world, monitoring email and internet activity, content filtering, cyber attacks against certain sites and the interruption of internet service are all techniques used to limit freedom of expression, manipulate information and suppress dissent.

With support from the European Commission, Alternatives and its partners will implement a project to support the right to freedom of expression and opinion, freedom of association, the right to anonymity and the right of access to information on the internet in the Maghreb and Mashreq region.

The project will establish a regional centre in Tunis to serve the entire region, particularly targeting countries where filtering and internet censorship are especially present. Civil society organisations, journalists, bloggers, dissidents and other human rights defenders in the region will learn to circumvent censorship, protect their digital communications and remain anonymous online.

The project will also work to strengthen the capacity of civil society to participate in the UN Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review to advance the right to freedom of expression on the internet.

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