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Tunisia: Court Quashes Verdict Ordering the Filtering of Pornography

This post is part of our special coverage Tunisia Revolution.

Today, the Cassation Court of Tunis (highest court of appeal) threw out a verdict to censor pornography on the Internet. On May, 26, 2011, a court of first instance issued a ruling ordering the Tunisian Internet Agency (ATI), to filter X rated websites. On August, 15, 2011, the ruling was affirmed by the court of appeal.

The judicial decision ordering the filtering of pornography, was harshly criticized by bloggers, and free speech advocates, who believe that such step could limit freedom of speech, and thus pave the way for the return of censorship.

Today's verdict was welcomed by netizens, supporting an absolute net freedom.

Outside the Tunisian Internet Agency (ATI) in Tunis, Tunisia by Jillian C. York

Outside the Tunisian Internet Agency (ATI) in Tunis, Tunisia by Jillian C. York

Reporters Without Reporters Tunisia office, was the first to report the court's ruling:

#ATI – la cour de cassation casse le jugement et renvoie le procès en appel.

#ATI cassation court quashes the ruling, and refers it back to the appeal

The news quickly spread, and reactions via the micro blogging website, Twitter started pouring in. Here is a selection of reactions:

@RODE86: Ya7ya el 3adl! Ya7ya el 3adl!

@RODE86: Long live justice! long live justice!

@HBHassine: je suis heureuse qu on reconnaisse enfin que les Tunisiens sont adultes et responsables! #contrelinfantilisationdesTunisiens #ATI

@HBHassine: Glad that it has been finally recognized that Tunisians are adults, and responsible! Against treating all Tunisians as infants

@yassine95140: La bonne nouvelle, qu'on soit pour ou contre la décision de la cour, c qu'on a la preuve d'1 séparation réelle d pouvoirs. #ATI #TNAC #TNGOV

@yassine95140: Whether we are for or against the court's decision, the good news is that we now have evidence of a real separation of powers

Others have aired more suspicious and careful views.

@El_7oss: Ces connards de la cassation pouvaient aussi casser le jugement sans renvoyer en appel #ATI

@El_7oss: These cassation idiots, they could have quashed the verdict, without referring it back to the court of appeal

@Selim_: bien. Mais c pas fini

@Selim_: Good. But this is not over

@omessaoud: Le renvoi de l'affaire #ATI en appel à nouveau est un renvoi de responsabilité pas une victoire. #free404 #tunisie #censure

@omessaoud: referring back the #ATI case to the appeal court is a delay of assuming responsibilities, and not a victory. #free404 #tunisie #censure

This post is part of our special coverage Tunisia Revolution.

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