Tunisian award winning* blog Nawaat has been named the winner of the Arab eContent Award 2011, in the e-Inclusion & Participation category. Nawaat refuses to attend the Bahrain IT Expo 2011 Opening Ceremony to receive the award from Shaikh Mohammed Bin Mubarak Al Khalifa, Bahrain’s Deputy Prime Minister, Chairman of the Supreme Committee for Information Technology and Communications.
Since the eContent Award is officially sponsored by the Bahraini eGovernment Authority and since Nawaat’s position has always been to avoid any form of support from government organisations, we reject this award in protest against the Bahrain’s Internet filtering practices, the arrest of scores of bloggers and human rights activists and the arbitrary blocking of hundreds of websites and blogs that are critical of the Bahraini government and its ruling family.
Furthermore, the Bahraini eGovernment Authority is not in position to decide or accredit which website is eligible to win the Arab eContent Award 2011, especially under the e-Inclusion & Participation category. Bahrain’s internet freedom situation goes against the very principal of e-Inclusion & Participation.
* In 2011 Nawaat won:
- The Reporters Without Borders Netizen Prize 2011 for the crucial role in covering the social and political unrest in Tunisia from the early beginning.
- The Index On Censorship New Media Award 2011 for its project TuniLeaks that revealed the extent of the corruption deeply entrenched in many aspects of Tunisian life and for helping informal media networks link communities that had been cut off by government censors.
Nawaat on may 2nd 2011