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Nahdha Movement: Tragedy continues as long as unfair Tunisian Ruling is there
Nahdha Movement: Tragedy continues as long as unfair Tunisian Ruling is there
The Tunisian authorities have recently released 4 leaders of the Islamist Nahdha movement who were detained and imprisoned for many years .
Tuesday, November 13,2007 03:59
The Tunisian authorities have recently released 4 leaders of the Islamist Nahdha movement who were detained and imprisoned for many years .
It"s worth mentioning that the Tunisian authorities have begun its crackdown on the Islamist Nahdha movement in the early 1990s. Dozens of   them are still imprisoned since then .
Mr. Rashed Al-Ghannoushi, chief of Nahdha movement, commented on releasing the 4 detainees saying ,
"In the early 1990s, the number of prisoners of Nahdha movement in Tunisia was more than 30,000 ."
 "Every once in a while, the authorities release some of the long-term Nahdha prisoners. Yet, most of them are released only after spending many years in prison ."
Al- Ghannoushi clarified that the 5 detainees released have indeed served their 16- year sentence in prison under harsh conditions .
He added, "The news of releasing any political prisoner, either from Nahdha movement or not, is quite pleasant news. However, remembering the fact that those were unjustly convicted, and that none of them was supposed to be in prison if Tunisia was a state of justice makes us think more about it ."
Adding that it is still a tragedy as long as the unfair Tunisian rules are there. Innocent citizens are daily detained and imprisoned in Tunisia .
 "About 30 prisoners of Nahdha are still in prison these days, after serving about 17 years in these harsh prison conditions. Many of them even suffer diseases." Al- Ghannoushi said. adding that about 2000 Tunisian youth from the Islamic awakening are imprisoned as well .
He clarified the reason of  the youth"s detention saying that it is all due to the Terrorism law. They were accused of being terrorists because they just "thought" of helping their brothers in Iraq. But have not done anything indeed .
Al-Gahannoushi also stated ,
"Our main demand is, not only releasing the prisoners detained unfairly, but also banning political detention, and releasing freedoms in general in Tunisia ."
Adding that the prisoners" tragedy does not end by their release indeed. They are only transferred from a small cell in prison to a larger one, captured by unjust law rules while many of their rights are totally violated .
He clarified that most of them are not allowed to work anywhere after their release. They do not enjoy the right of free movement even inside their country .
Unlike the last statements of President Zine El- Abdin which denied the fact that Tunisia is a police state, Al- Ghannoushi said that the Tunisian authorities are allowing the country more to become a police state .
Worth mentioning, many Human Rights organizations and activists, as Human Rights Watch, the Arab commission for Human Rights, and Amnesty International, have criticized the recent status of Tunisia, they also demanded the release of all those who have been held in jail for practicing their rights and expressing their opinions .
On the other hand, Rashid Al- Ghannoushi commented on the hunger strike of the journalist and well- known Human Rights activist Mohamed Al-Nouri, and Selim Bukhneir, which has exceeded a week now. He said ,
 "Political prisoners and reformists in Tunisia frequently stage hunger strikes to demand their release or improvement in conditions of detention. This is something quite usual in Tunisia ."
He added, "That"s because the Tunisian citizen has used all possible means to express his demands, but nothing happens !"
Worth mentioning, Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North African director of Human Rights Watch, have stated last year that all political prisoners in Tunisia should be freed .
She added, "Tunisian authorities must not compound the injustice by punishing prisoners who exercise one of the few rights available to them – the right to go on hunger strike ." *
Al- Ghannoushi expressed his hope that such unjust strict rules would come to an end soon. But added that such hope is so farfetched under the rule of the recent Tunisian president who has been ruling Tunisia for 20 years .

Posted in MB Around The World , Prisoners of Conscience , Human Rights  
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