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Tunisia: Further information on fear of torture / legal concern / prisoner of conscience: Radhia Aouididi (f)

, N° d'index: MDE 30/013/1998

On 25 May 1998, Radhia Aouididi was sentenced to three and half years imprisonment on charges of criminal conspiracy, forgery and possession of false documents after an unfair trial. Her lawyers will now petition the Court of Cassation.

PUBLIC AI Index: MDE 30/13/98
28 May 1998
Further information on UA 270/96 (MDE 30/39/96, 21 November 1996) and follow-ups
(MDE 30/44/96, 11 December 1996 and MDE 30/33/97, 30 May 1997) - Fear of torture/
Legal concern/ Prisoner of conscience
TUNISIARadhia Aouididi (f), aged 28
On 25 May 1998, Radhia Aouididi was sentenced to three and half years
imprisonment on charges of criminal conspiracy, forgery and possession of false
documents after an unfair trial. Her lawyers will now petition the Court of
Cassation as there is no full right to appeal against a sentence given by the
criminal chamber of the Appeal Court.
Radhia Aouididi was arrested on 9 November 1996 at Tunis-Carthage airport and
reportedly found to be in possession of a false Belgian passport. She had
been intending to travel to France to be reunited with her fiancé who has refugee
status there.
She was initially held in garde à vue (incommunicado) detention beyond the
10-day limit permitted by Tunisian law, during which time she was beaten,
ill-treated and threatened with rape. In December 1996 she was transferred
to Mannouba women’s prison in Tunis, where she continues to be held.
Radhia Aouididi had been subjected to periodic harassment at the hands of the
security forces in Tunisia prior to her arrest. She had been arrested and
detained briefly on two occasions in 1984 and 1987, during which she was
ill-treated and interrogated about the political activities of other members
of her family and her fiancé.
Radhia Aouididi had been refused a passport and also had her identity card
confiscated denying her the possibility of leaving the country through legal
means.
No further appeals by the urgent action network are required though Amnesty
International is continuing to work for the release of prisoner of conscience
Radhia Aouididi through other action forms and will keep the network informed
of any developments in this case. Thank you to all who wrote appeals on her
behalf.

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