This is the second report of the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (HRinfo) on the freedom to use the internet in the Arab World. This report covers 18 Arab countries, providing an overview of how the governments in the Arab world deal with the internet. It includes an update of 11 countries covered in the previous report. It also includes new information with regards to an additional 7 countries that were not previously covered. The report also covers Arab bloggers who have succeeded, over a short period, to play an important role in revealing the conflict between oppression and freedom.
The report was based on field interviews with activists that have resorted to the web, in addition to an opinion poll prepared by HRinfo. The report referred to several human rights and press reports in addition to communications between HRinfo and volunteers from across the Arab World.
The report was prepared and written by Ehab Zelaky, a journalist at the independent Al-Dostour Newspaper. Gamal Eid, HRinfo's Executive Director and legal researcher, who wrote the chapter on Bloggers in the Arab World and The Introduction. Sally Sami, Program Coordinator, edited the report and prepared it for publication. Dalia Ziada translated the report into English.
HRinfo would like to thank all those who worked on the report for their contribution - including those who declined to take credit for their efforts. We would also like to thank our friends in the region who responded to our poll (HRinfo received 86 responses).
Of course, we would also like to thank the Norwegian Human Rights Fund for supporting this project and for its patience with our delays. The Norwegian Human Rights Fund was highly cooperative and for that we express our appreciation.