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Tunisia: Further information: Fear for safety/ prisoner of conscience/ health concern

, رقم الوثيقة: MDE 30/008/2000

Jallal Zoughlami, brother of journalist Taoufik Ben Brik, was sentenced to three months' imprisonment by the Tribunal of First Instance on 3 May 2000. Amnesty International considers him to be a prisoner of conscience and is calling for his immediate and unconditional release. He has been on hunger strike since 30 April.

PUBLIC AI Index: MDE 30/08/00
4 May 2000
Further information on UA 98/00 (MDE 30/07/00, 28 April 2000) - fear for safety
and new concerns: prisoner of conscience/ health concern
TUNISIAHuman rights defenders and their relatives
Jallal Zoughlami, brother of journalist Taoufik Ben Brik, was sentenced to
three months’ imprisonment by the Tribunal of First Instance on 3 May 2000.
Amnesty International considers him to be a prisoner of conscience and is calling
for his immediate and unconditional release. He has been on hunger strike since
30 April.
Jallal Zoughlami was accused of violence against law-enforcement officers and
inciting people to break the law. Amnesty International believes that Jallal
Zoughlami has been victimized for trying to stop police from beating up and
abducting 70-year-old Ali Ben Salem on 26 April. The police beat and arrested
him, and he sustained several injuries, including one to his left eye.
Taoufik Ben Brik, who has been on hunger-strike since 3 April, was given a
new passport on 1 May, which was one of his demands. Two days later the chair
of investigating magistrates in Tunis closed all investigations against Taoufik
Ben Brik, on the grounds of insufficient evidence, and lifted the travel ban
imposed on him.
After his brother Jallal Zoughlami was sentenced, Taoufik Ben Brik announced
that he would leave Tunisia and pursue his hunger-strike in France until his
brother is released. He flew to France on the afternoon of 4 May, accompanied
by a Moroccan doctor specializing in intensive care. At Tunis airport, the
doctor was threatened by a man who reportedly said, "you are a traitor, I’ll
kill you". Lawyers who had come to say farewell to Ben Brik had to stop the
man from assaulting the doctor.
Human rights defenders and relatives trying to visit Taoufik Ben Brik on 25
and 26 April were beaten, ill-treated and harassed by security forces. Jallal
Zoughlami and others were arrested and beaten when they to visit him at home
on 26 April. Among them was 70-year-old Ali Ben Salem, who sustained spinal
injuries. He has since been able to leave hospital.
Fathi Chamkhi, Mohamed Chourabi and Iheb el Hani, arrested on 8 April on charges
including disturbance of public order and defamation of the authorities, remain
in detention.
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/faxes/express/airmail
letters in Arabic, French or your own language:
- calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Jallal Zoughlami,
who is imprisoned as a prisoner of conscience;
- seeking assurances that Jallal Zoughlami will be given all necessary medical
care;
- calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Fathi Chamkhi, Mohamed
Chourabi and Iheb el Hani, who are detained as prisoners of conscience;
- expressing grave concern at the increased attacks on human rights defenders,
lawyers and NGO activists and their relatives, and calling on the Tunisian
authorities to put an immediate end to such practices and to allow all human
rights defenders to carry out their activities freely, in compliance with
international human rights treaties ratified by Tunisia;
2
- urging the authorities to conduct prompt, full and impartial investigations
into the beating and ill-treatment of journalists, lawyers and human rights
activists on 25 and 26 April and to bring those responsible to justice.
APPEALS TO:
M. Abdallah Kallel
Ministre de l’Intérieur
Ministère de l'Intérieur
Avenue Habib Bourguiba
1001 Tunis
Tunisia
Telegrams: Ministre Interieur, Tunis, Tunisia
Faxes: + 216 1 340 888
E-mail: mint@ministeres.tn
M. Bechir Takkari
Ministre de la Justice
Ministère de la Justice
31 Boulevard Bab Benat
1006 Tunis
Tunisia
Faxes:+ 216 1 568 106
E-mail: mju@ministeres.tn
COPIES TO:
M. Afif Hendaoui
Ministre Délégué chargé des Droits de l’Homme
Bureau du Premier Ministre
Place du Gouvernement
La Kasbah
1006 Tunis
Tunisia
and to diplomatic representatives of Tunisia accredited to your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 15 June 2000.

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