Imprisoned “freedom lawyer” Mohammed Abbou begins hunger strike

first_img December 26, 2019 Find out more TunisiaMiddle East – North Africa News Reporters Without Borders called for the immediate release of Tunisian lawyer Mohammed Abbou today after Abbou, who has been in prison since 1 March for daring to express his views online, yesterday announced that he had just begun another hunger strike.”It is absolutely unacceptable that going on hunger strike has become the only option left to Abbou,” the press freedom said in a message to Tunisian President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, adding that it was “outraged” that the president chose to pardon common criminals instead of Abbou for the national holiday.Abbou said he began the hunger strike with the intention of pursuing it for several days “in order to inform national and international public opinion (…) and draw attention to what is happing in my country as regards the repression against all those who voice their dissent.”He said he also wanted to draw attention to “the hatred and complete intolerance towards all those who dare, even if only implicitly, to expose and criticise the ‘mafia families’ who are destroying the Tunisian economy and endangering the safety of all Tunisians.” His wife also began a hunger strike yesterday in solidarity.Abbou is serving a total of three and a half years in prison terms that were imposed at a trial on 29 April which Reporters Without Borders denounced at the time as a sham. The sentences were upheld on appeal on 10 June.He was given two years for a supposed physical attack on a woman lawyer at a conference in 2002, although no evidence was presented for the attack apart from an unsigned medical certificate. And he was given a year and a half for an article posted on the Tunisnews website in August last year that compared the torture of political prisoners in Tunisia to that perpetrated by US soldiers at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. But many observers believed he was in fact being punished for another article posted a few days before his arrest which criticised an invitation to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to attend the UN-sponsored World Summit on the Information Society in Tunis in November, and which commented ironically about corruption within President Ben Ali’s family. TunisiaMiddle East – North Africa Tunisia : RSF asks Tunisian president’s office to respect journalists News Reporters Without Borders called for the immediate release of Tunisian lawyer Mohammed Abbou today after Abbou, who has been in prison since 1 March for daring to express his views online, yesterday announced that he had just begun another hunger strike. Follow the news on Tunisia Forum on Information and Democracy 250 recommendations on how to stop “infodemics” Receive email alerts Eleven organizations from civil society create the Forum on Information & Democracy, a structural response to information disorder Help by sharing this information News November 11, 2020 Find out more July 26, 2005 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Imprisoned “freedom lawyer” Mohammed Abbou begins hunger strike Organisation to go further November 12, 2019 Find out more News RSF_en last_img read more