Ikhwanweb :: The Muslim Brotherhood Official English Website

Tue109 2018

Last update19:14 PM GMT

Back to Homepage
Font Size : 12 point 14 point 16 point 18 point
:: Issues > Human Rights
Amnesty says Tunisia gov’t must end harassment of former political prisoners
Amnesty says Tunisia gov’t must end harassment of former political prisoners
Amnesty International called on the Tunisian President to end the daily harassment of former political prisoners as the country celebrates its national independence day on March 20.
Wednesday, March 17,2010 16:24
BM&Ikhwanweb

Hundreds of political activists have been imprisoned in Tunisia since President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali came to power in 1987, including prisoners of conscience and others sentenced after unfair trials, reflecting the authorities’ intolerance of dissent. Many have been released from prison on previous national days under presidential pardon.

Such releases are generally only conditional, with former prisoners made subject to stifling restrictions which prevent them from obtaining paid employment or leading normal lives, including intensive surveillance and harassment by security officials.

“Prisoners released under presidential pardons should not be subjected to continuing harassment and intimidation, but should be allowed and enabled to resume their normal lives,” said Malcolm Smart, Amnesty’s Middle East and North Africa director.

Those who overstep their restrictions or offend the authorities in other ways may be quickly returned to prison.

Sadok Chourou, who spent 18 years in prison before he was conditionally released in November 2008, was re-detained a month later after he gave media interviews talking about his experiences in prison and expressed views about the political situation in Tunisia. His conditional release was revoked so that he has to complete one remaining year of his original sentence and he was given an additional one year prison term. He is now due to be released in October 2010.

“The whole purpose of the pardon is undermined when former prisoners are placed under such oppressive restrictions that they are unable to obtain work or exercise their rights to freedom of expression and association. This harassment of former prisoners must cease.”

A briefing paper released by the London-based rights organization, Freed but Not Free: Tunisia’s Former Political Prisoners, highlights the plight of former political prisoners who are subjected to severe restrictions and harassment by the security authorities. These include oppressive police surveillance, being required to report regularly to the police and repeatedly called in for police questioning, and re-arrest — following their release from prison. Some have been denied access to medical care.

Many have also been banned from traveling outside Tunisia and are not permitted to move freely within the country.

Abdelkarim Harouni, who was placed under oppressive police surveillance following release from prison in November 2007, says it has had a very detrimental effect on his well-being and ability to interact with other people:

“This harassment is an attempt to isolate me from society. There’s a climate of fear among my family members, the neighbors and my friends, who do not dare to visit us,” said Abdelkarim Harouni.

Abdellatif Bouhajila has been unable to obtain his medical files from the hospital where he was treated while in prison and his hospital appointments have been repeatedly canceled leaving him without the medical treatment he urgently needs for heart and kidney ailments.

Amnesty is urging the Tunisian government to cease the harassment and intimidation of former political prisoners and allow them to resume their lives as free individuals.

tags: Amnesty / Tunisia / Political Prisoners
Posted in Human Rights  
Add Comment Send to Friend Print
Related Articles
Tunisia: Violates journalists freedom of speech and opinion with continued detentions
Tunisian student jailed over interviews
The Tunisian Government Starts The Propaganda By Banning A Paper And An Ad Campaign In Egyptian Papers
Physical Assault on Hemma AlHemami in Tunisia Airport After an Interview with AlJazeera and France 24.
Reprisal Against Reporters Union Legitimate Members in Tunisia.
Oppression extinguished Tunisia's light
The thwarted Tunisian right of return
The Tunisian Renaissance Movement condemns attacks on HR Activists
Defense Denied Contact With Former Tunisian MB head
Tunisian president calls criticism "unbecoming"
No Space for Criticism in Tunisia
Galawi’s life line convoy reaches Tunisia, en route to Gaza Strip
Severe Criticism Due to Security Harassments to jurists and Politicians in Tunisia
MB In Tunisia: Ruling Against Shorow Criminalizes Freedom of Expression
Tunisia Muslim Brotherhood Condemns Arresting Former Leader
Tunisian Authorities Denies Medications For Former Political Detainee
El Gannushi Calls For Comprehensive Political Openness In Tunisia
Fighting For Press Freedom In Tunisia
Tunisia: Amnesty International condemns decision to uphold prison sentence against journalist
Islamists emerge in stifled Tunisia
Call to Release Tunisian Prisoner of Conscience Karim Harouni
"Mundos Arabes: Ideas, Players, Spaces" Paper Presented to the Forum