Tunisia bans adult websites

Tunisia is banning all adult websites after a court order called on the Tunisian Internet Agency to impose a blockade.

The X-rated websites are seen as posing a danger to children and are considered contrary to Muslim values, according to the three lawyers who filed the original lawsuit last week.

The ban comes after internet censorship was relaxed in January, effectively backtracking on the forward-moving policies made at the time.

The censorship was originally imposed by former president Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali, whose regime was toppled at the beginning of this year. Once websites became accessible again a number of adult ones appeared in the the lists of the most visited, which has clearly caused upset amongst the conservative members of the new government.

In early May the Tunisian Internet Agency blocked a number of websites and Facebook profiles after being ordered to do so by a military tribunal. There was no explanation of why these needed to be taken down.

It appears that the country has left one repressive regime only to join another. The junior minister for youth of the interim government, Slim Amamou, resigned this week and criticised the renewed censorship. He is a prominent figure in the country promoting freedom of speech and said he decided he would be more useful outside the government.