Lina Ben Mhenni

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Lina Ben Mhenni
Lina Ben Mhenni, Tunis 16 juin 2013.jpg
Born (1983-05-22) May 22, 1983 (age 36)
OccupationInternet activist, blogger, university teacher

Lina Ben Mhenni (Arabic: لينا بن مهني) (born May 22, 1983) is a Tunisian Internet activist, blogger and assistant lecturer (i.e. instructor[specify]) in linguistics at Tunis University.[1]



Lina Ben Mhenni has been awarded the Deutsche Welle International Blog Award and El Mundo's International Journalism Prize[2]

Ben Mhenni's blog, A Tunisian Girl, is written in Arabic, English, and French.[3] During the rule of former Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, Ben Mhenni was one of the few bloggers to blog using her real name rather than adopting a pseudonym to protect her identity.[3] Her blog, as well as her Facebook and Twitter accounts, were censored under the Ben Ali regime.[4]

Ben Mhenni began posting photos and video of protests of those injured throughout Tunisia. In an effort to make the government responsible for its actions and to the people who were harmed in these uprisings, she visited local hospitals and took pictures of those harmed by police.[5]

Tunisian Revolution[edit]

In January 2011, she covered the early weeks of the Tunisian Revolution from Sidi Bouzid Governorate in the interior of the country.[3] Ben Mhenni was the only blogger present in the interior cities of Kasserine and Regueb when government forces massacred and suppressed protesters in the region.[3] Her reports and posts provided uncensored information to other Tunisian activists and the international media.[3]

Continued activism[edit]

Since the Tunisian Revolution began, Ben Mhenni has continued to play a prominent role amongst Tunisia's bloggers and democracy activists, speaking out against continuing corruption in the Tunisian regime,[2] against the "double discourse" of Ennahda,[2] and demanding the release of Alaa Abdel-Fatah upon his arrest in October 2011.[6] In an editorial for CNN, she wrote that her activism after Ben Ali's overthrow has led to her receiving death threats and requiring close protection of the police.[7]

In 2011, Ben Mhenni was reported to have been a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize,[8] for her contributions and activism during the Tunisian Revolution.[notes 1][3]

Ben Mhenni has stated that Tunisia's revolution "cannot be called an internet revolution", and insists that the revolution against Ben Ali was fought "on the ground" through demonstrations and resistance.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Ben Mhenni's parents were both activists; her father, Sadok, was a political prisoner, and her mother Emna was part of the student union movement.[8] Ben Mhenni is a sufferer of Lupus, and in 2007 received a kidney transplant.[8] In 2007 and 2009 she participated in the World Transplant Games, winning several medals[10]


  • Vernetzt Euch! (german) [Tunisian Girl – Blogueuse pour un printemps arabe], Patricia Klobusiczky (trans.), Berlin: Ullstein Verlag, 2011, ISBN 978-3-550-08893-3CS1 maint: others (link)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Any university employee, any member of parliament of any nation, and other groups, can nominate anyone for the prize, and nominees hold no official status. The Norwegian Nobel Committee does not release names of the proposals it receives for 50 years after nomination, and solely for the benefit of historical research.[9]


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-01-18. Retrieved 2012-07-16. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ a b c "Tunisia: 'This is the start of a global wave of protests'". Green Left Weekly. 2011-10-09. Retrieved 2011-11-06.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Tunisian blogger becomes Nobel Prize nominee". Al Jazeera English. 2011-10-21. Retrieved 2011-11-03.
  4. ^ "Tunisian Blogger Undeterred by Censorship". Voice of America. 2011-01-05. Retrieved 2011-11-03.
  5. ^ Oslo Freedom Forum. "LINA BEN MHENNI". Online Article. Oslo Freedom Forum. Archived from the original on 2012-01-02. Retrieved 2012-01-05. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  6. ^ "Free Alaa Abdel-Fatah". Tunisian Girl. 2011-11-01. Retrieved 2011-11-05.
  7. ^ "Opinion: Tunisia's leaders have failed the Dignity Revolution". CNN. 2014-01-22. Retrieved 2014-02-24.
  8. ^ a b c d "Voice behind a revolution". Sydney Morning Herald. 2012-01-21. Retrieved 2014-01-21.
  9. ^ "Who may submit nominations?". The Nobel Peace Prize. Norwegian Nobel Committee. Archived from the original on 30 June 2013. Retrieved 19 December 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  10. ^ "Speaker - Lina Ben Mhenni". Geneva Summit for Human Rights & Democracy. Archived from the original on 18 February 2014. Retrieved 21 January 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)

External links[edit]