Arab Rights Groups Condemn court ruling against Tunisian journalist Salim Boukhdir
|Saturday, December 8,2007 04:28|
Several Arab human rights organizations condemned the Tunisian court ruling issued on Dec, 4th, 2007, sentencing journalist Salim Boukhdir to one year in prison following his conviction for harming morality and after he refused to identify himself to security personnel.
These organizations see, in a statement regarding this issue, that the ruling is politically motivated and to punishment Boukhdir for his articles in which he exposed corruption in Tunisia . Add to this the fact that the report submitted against him included many legal violations that deem it invalid as a basis for a fair ruling.
Last Nov, 26th, 2007, morning Tunisian authorities stopped Boukhdir while he was in a taxi an heading for the city of Tunisia and referred him in an outlandish speed to justice on Nov, 27th, on charges of assaulting police that stopped the car and refusing to show the identity card and his attack on morality. The court refused his lawyer demand of releasing him on bail.
Salim Boukhdir, 36 years, is an independent journalist, works for the London daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi and other media and he posts his articles on several web sites like Tunis News and Qantarah. He is an independent and very professional journalist.
He was sacked from his job in Al-Shurouq newspaper, four years ago, for defending independence and professionalism of the press. He was hunted, arrested and beaten several times by the political police service to punish him for defending private and public freedoms in Tunisia .
Boukhdir submitted last June a complaint to justice against the state security for threatening and beating him several times.
He recently staged a two-week hunger strike in protest against not being issued a passport for four years. He ended his strike two weeks later after the lawyers chief intervened and after he received guarantees from authorities that he will be given his passport.