EXTERNAL AI Index: MDE 30/43/96
10 December 1996
Further information (2) on UA 247/96 (MDE 30/35/96, 25 October 1996, MDE
30/37/96, 7 November 1996) - Health concern / Prisoner of conscience
TUNISIAMohamed Hedi Jouini, carpenter, aged 36
Mohamed Hedi Jouini discontinued his hunger strike at the end of November 1996.
He had been on unlimited hunger strike since about 24 September to protest
against being sentenced twice on the same charges.
On 2 January 1996 Mohamed Hedi Jouini was sentenced in absentia to three and
a half years' imprisonment charged with membership of an unauthorized
organization (the unauthorized Islamist party al-Nahda) and participation in
unauthorized meetings. He had been tried in absentia for the same acts in
1993 and sentenced to one year and three months' imprisonment. Since 1991
Mohamed Hedi Jouini has been repeatedly convicted and imprisoned for the
peaceful exercise of his rights to freedom of expression and association (see
MDE 30/35/96, 25 October 1996).
At the beginning of December 1996 the Court of Appeal examined his case and
on 5 December it announced that it had annulled Mohamed Hedi Jouini's 1993
conviction to one year and three months' imprisonment, but had upheld his 1996
conviction to three and a half years' imprisonment.
Mohamed Hedi Jouini had discontinued his hunger strike in the understanding
that the Court of Appeal would annul both sentences and that he would be released.
He has now exhausted all legal avenues for an overturning of the 1996 sentence.
Amnesty International considers Mohamed Hedi Jouini a prisoner of conscience,
imprisoned solely for his conscientiously-held beliefs, and continues to call
for his immediate and unconditional release. Other parts of the movement will
campaign to achieve this objective, but no further action by the UA Network
is requested for the moment.