Newly released journalist rearrested after appealing against banishment

first_img Help by sharing this information August 21, 2002 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Newly released journalist rearrested after appealing against banishment Receive email alerts November 12, 2019 Find out more TunisiaMiddle East – North Africa November 11, 2020 Find out more News to go further News Forum on Information and Democracy 250 recommendations on how to stop “infodemics” December 26, 2019 Find out morecenter_img News Tunisia : RSF asks Tunisian president’s office to respect journalists Reporters Without Borders today protested against the arrest of journalist Abdallah Zouari of the banned weekly Al Fajr on 19 August, just 10 weeks after his release upon completing more than 10 years in prison. His arrest appears to stem from a recent administrative order issued by the interior ministry banishing him to the south of the country.”This arrest is unacceptable and this administrative measure taken by your department is utterly abusive”, Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Robert Ménard said in a letter to Interior Minister Hedi M’henni. “The completely arbitrary arrest of a man whose life has been destroyed by more than 10 years in prison is simply inhuman”, the letter said. “We call on you to release this journalist immediately and to rescind this banishment order.”Following his arrest by police in Tunis on 19 August, Zouari was taken to Harboub prison in the governorate of Mednin (southern Tunisia). Although residing in Tunis, he had been notified by an interior ministry letter dated 15 July that he was being banished to Zarzis, in the Mednin governorate. Zouari had not complied, calling the order “arbitrary”, and had appealed to an administrative court which has not yet issued a ruling. On 16 August, three days before his arrest, police had gone to his home in a Tunis suburb, threatening his 80-year-old aunt when they failed to find him there.According to his lawyer, Zouari is accused of having refused to comply with this banishment order. The lawyer says there is no justification for the order inasmuch as Zouari has been residing in the outskirts of Tunis and not in Zarzis, where only part of his family resides. A hearing on the case has been set for 23 August before a Zarzis court.A contributor to Al Fajr, the official mouthpiece of the Islamic movement Ennahda, Zouari was arrested on 12 April 1991 and sentenced to 11 years imprisonment for “belonging to an illegal organisation”. He was also sentenced to five years of administrative control on completion of the jail sentence, which means he must present himself regularly to the police station nearest his home. He was released on 6 June 2002.”What ecstasy to have my pen and paper back, to be able to jot down a few notes without the threat of a meticulous and humiliating body search”, Zouari said to Reporters Without Borders earlier this month. “For years, it was strictly forbidden to have a pen or piece of paper, and there were terrible punishments for those who tried to get them. The threats are still there because, whereas the pen is banned behind bars, it is muzzled outside, in this bigger prison.”The editor of Al Fajr, Hamadi Jebali, has been imprisoned since 1991. After completing a one-year sentence for an article criticizing the system of military courts, he was sentenced by the Tunis military court to 16 years imprisonment for “aggressive intention to change the nature of the state” and “belonging to an illegal organisation”. Follow the news on Tunisia TunisiaMiddle East – North Africa Organisation News Eleven organizations from civil society create the Forum on Information & Democracy, a structural response to information disorder RSF_en last_img

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