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New prison sentence confirmed for recently-freed journalist

first_img Newly freed journalist Abdallah Zouari (see picture) was sentenced on 4 September to eight months in prison for refusing to comply with an order banishing him to the south of the country, which he considered “arbitrary”. A former contributor to the banned weekly Al Fajr, he had just completed an 11-year jail sentence. Eleven organizations from civil society create the Forum on Information & Democracy, a structural response to information disorder TunisiaMiddle East – North Africa News RSF_en Organisation Reporters Without Borders denounced today as “scandalous” the confirmation of a new prison sentence for a Tunisian journalist recently freed after 11 years in jail. Abdallah Zouari, of the banned Islamic fundamentalist weekly Al-Fajr, was sentenced on 23 August to eight months imprisonment for “failing to obey an administrative decision” exiling him to the town of Zarzis, in Mednin province. His appeal against the sentence was confirmed on 4 September. His friends and family had been barred from the trial and his lawyers withdrew from the case citing “absence of conditions for a fair trial and guarantees of independence.””This scandalous sentence, in complete violation of all the rules for a fair and balanced trial, is an example of how the justice system works in Tunisia,” said Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Robert Ménard.”We are still waiting for proof of accusations against him in 1992 of ‘making, possessing and carrying ammunition, weapons and explosives.’ This man is a journalist, not a terrorist. The drive against terrorism since the 11 September attacks is once again being used as a excuse to clamp down on regime opponents, especially if they are Islamic fundamentalists. News to go further Tunisia : RSF asks Tunisian president’s office to respect journalists Help by sharing this information Newscenter_img September 5, 2002 – Updated on January 20, 2016 New prison sentence confirmed for recently-freed journalist Forum on Information and Democracy 250 recommendations on how to stop “infodemics” News “To give a new jail sentence to someone whose life has already been destroyed by 11 years in prison is quite inhumane and we demand that he be freed immediately and unconditionally,” said Ménard.Zouari, who was freed on 6 June this year, had first been arrested on 12 April 1991 and the following year sentenced to 11 years in jail on the arms charges and for “belonging to an illegal organisation.” He was also ordered to present himself regularly to the nearest police station for five years after his release. On 15 July last, the interior ministry told Zouari, who lives in Tunis, that he was being exiled to Zarzis. He refused to comply with what he called an arbitrary decision and lodged an appeal, which has not yet been heard.On 19 August, police arrested him in Tunis and took to Harboub prison, in Zarzis. On 23 August, a local court gave him the eight-month sentence for disobedience. The judge refused to grant an adjournment requested by his lawyers, who said the exile to Zarzis, where only part of his family lived, was unjustified.Hamadi Jebali, managing editor of Al Fajr, which is the unofficial organ of the Ennahda fundamentalist movement, has been in prison since 1991. He was sentenced in 1992 by the Tunis military court to 16 years in prison for “aggressively intending to change the nature of the state” and belonging to an illegal organisation. The previous year, he had been given a one-year sentence for publishing an article criticising the system of military courts. November 11, 2020 Find out more TunisiaMiddle East – North Africa Follow the news on Tunisia December 26, 2019 Find out more Receive email alerts November 12, 2019 Find out morelast_img read more