Demonstration at Tunisian Tourist office as Mohammed Abbu begins third year in prison

first_img Reporters Without Borders activists demonstrated outside the Tunisian tourist office in Paris on 1st March to protest against the continued detention of lawyer Mohammed Abbu, who has spent two years in jail for criticising President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali in online articles. Some 20 members of the worldwide press freedom organisation rallied for almost an hour, plastering the windows of the tourist office with posters depicting the cyber-dissident. to go further RSF_en Mohammed AbbuLawyer Mohammed Abbu was arrested two years ago, on 1st March 2005, and sentenced two weeks later to three years and a half years in prison. He was charged over an article posted on the website Tunisnews in August 2004, in which he compared torture of Tunisian political prisoners to abuses committed by US soldiers at Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad.However, according to a number of observers at the trial, his sentence was really linked to another online article, posted a few days before his arrest, in which he criticised an invitation to then Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon to attend a UN summit held in Tunisia, and made a satirical attack on corruption among the president’s family.To increase the sentence, the charge sheet was weighted a few days before the hearing by an allegation of “assault” against one of his female colleagues, an incident which supposedly occurred two years before his arrest.Since his imprisonment, his wife, Samia, and his three children have been subjected to constant police harassment. They are followed wherever they go and are regularly insulted and threatened. Every time they try to visit the lawyer in his prison 170 kms from their home, they are stopped and questioned and sometimes harassed on the way.Tunisia, 148th out of 168 on world press freedom indexPromises made by President Ben Ali to allow greater press freedom have turned out to be mere window-dressing. Pluralism of information does not exist and websites critical of Tunisian government policy are systematically censored. Liberalisation of the broadcast sector is a lie and administrative censorship is still used to block the creation of independent media.For more information about press freedom in Tunisia, go to the report released by Reporters Without Borders in 2005: http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=14253Over 15 years ago, Reporters without Borders created its “Sponsorship Programme” and called upon the international media to select and support an imprisoned journalist. More than two hundreds news staffs around the globe are thus sponsoring colleagues by regularly petitioning authorities for their release and by publicising their situations sothat their cases will not be forgotten.Currently, Mohammed Abbou is sponsored by Aldaketa Hamasei-Cambio 16, El Periodico de Catalunya, CIBL FM, Campus, Quartier Libre, Le Métropolitain, categorynet.com, la maison de la presse de Charleroi News Follow the news on Tunisia TunisiaMiddle East – North Africa Reporters Without Borders activists demonstrated outside the Tunisian tourist office in Paris on 1st March to protest against the continued detention of lawyer Mohammed Abbu, who has spent two years in jail for criticising President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali in online articles.Some 20 members of the worldwide press freedom organisation rallied for almost an hour, plastering the windows of the tourist office with posters depicting the cyber-dissident and others reading, “Tunisia, land of repression” and “Mohammed Abu, two years is long enough”.The activists, who were supported by members of Tunisian human rights organisations, also chanted slogans including, “Release Abbu”.”Mohammed Abbu is the personal prisoner of the Tunisian president, whose political repression and corruption he exposed. His imprisonment and the constant harassment of his family have gone on long enough”, said the organisation.“It is time to show tourists the true face of the Tunisian regime, because on the other side of the postcard is a police state which has no hesitation in jailing Internet-users who oppose him. The anniversary of the arrest of Mohammed Abu should be the occasion for diplomats to get tougher with Tunisia and call for a halt to filtering of independent news websites”. News News Organisation Help by sharing this information center_img November 11, 2020 Find out more Receive email alerts Eleven organizations from civil society create the Forum on Information & Democracy, a structural response to information disorder TunisiaMiddle East – North Africa Forum on Information and Democracy 250 recommendations on how to stop “infodemics” December 26, 2019 Find out more Tunisia : RSF asks Tunisian president’s office to respect journalists News March 1, 2007 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Demonstration at Tunisian Tourist office as Mohammed Abbu begins third year in prison November 12, 2019 Find out morelast_img

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