Open letter to justice and human rights minister about Mohammed Abbou

first_img to go further August 2, 2005 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Open letter to justice and human rights minister about Mohammed Abbou Forum on Information and Democracy 250 recommendations on how to stop “infodemics” November 12, 2019 Find out more Follow the news on Tunisia TunisiaMiddle East – North Africa November 11, 2020 Find out more Help by sharing this information Eleven organizations from civil society create the Forum on Information & Democracy, a structural response to information disorder Mr. Béchir TekkariMinister of Justice and Human RightsTunisRepublic of TunisiaParis, 1 August 2005Dear Minister,Reporters Without Borders, an international organisation that defends press freedom, would like to draw your attention to its concerns about the conditions in which Mohammed Abbou, a lawyer and human rights activist, is being detained. Mr. Abbou has been in prison since 1 March and is currently on hunger strike.We are very worried by recent reports from his lawyers and family that Mr. Abbou has been suffering from psychological problems which may have been the result of psychotropic or neuroleptic drugs being given to him without his knowledge.Afer visiting Mr. Abbou in prison, two of his defence lawyers reported a sharp fall in his morale. He told them he had suffered an uncontrollable fit of despondency and waves of depression after eating. He also experienced feelings of discomfort and irritation on the surface of his body.But when he stopped eating, as he has since 25 July, Mr. Abbou ceased to experience any psychological problems.As justice minister, you are responsible for Tunisia’s prisons, including Kef prison where Mr. Abbou is being held. Reporters Without Borders calls on you to allow a doctor chosen by the Abbou family to examine him and carry out laboratory tests. A request to this effect has so far been refused.Preventing an independent medical examination would indicate a very worrying lack of transparency in the prison system of which you are in charge. A refusal by your ministry to let Mr. Abbou have such an examination would only bolster the allegations that he is being given psychotropic or neuroleptic drugs against his will. The credibility of Tunisia’s prison system is at stake.Former political prisoners have described such practices in Tunisia’s prisons in the past. If these practices are continuing, they must stop at once because they are tantamount to torture and violate all international standards on the treatment of prisoners.We therefore urge you to move quickly to ensure the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Abbou, who has been on hunger strike for more than a week.We would remind you that Mr. Abbou was sentenced by a lower court to a total of three and a half years in prison at the end of trial on 29 April that was described at the time by Reporters Without Borders as a sham. The sentence was confirmed on appeal on 10 June.Sincerely,Robert MénardSecretary-General TunisiaMiddle East – North Africa center_img News News Receive email alerts RSF_en News December 26, 2019 Find out more Tunisia : RSF asks Tunisian president’s office to respect journalists News Organisation last_img read more

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