Tunisia - Journalist Slim Boukhdir starts a new hunger strike in prison



    MONTREAL, Dec. 14 /CNW Telbec/ - Reporters Without Borders today
condemned pressure exerted on jailed independent journalist Slim Boukhdir, who
yesterday began a new hunger strike.
    Boukhdir, who is serving a one-year prison sentence at Sfax, 231 kms
south of Tunis, has gone on hunger strike again to protest against his prison
conditions.
    His wife, who has managed to visit him, said that the prison
administration is holding him an unlit cell with common-law prisoners, so as
to indirectly monitor him and stop him resuming his reading.
    His lawyer, Muhamed Abbu, said that the judicial authorities had refused
him the right to visit his client, in defiance of the law. The journalist has
not been released while waiting for his appeal and that the committal order
applied against him makes it possible for his period in detention to be
extended.
    "Once again, the Tunisian state is showing its intolerance towards
citizens who have the misfortune to criticise its authoritarian nature. The
Boukhdir case bears the hallmarks of a score-settling between the government
and the free press," the worldwide press freedom organisation said.
    The speed of the trial and the journalist's prison conditions are all
evidence of hounding by the regime to silence its opponents. We call on the
international press to campaign for Slim Boukhdir", it concluded.
    Tunisia is ranked in 145th place out of 169 countries in Reporters
Without Borders' 2007 world press freedom index.




For further information:

For further information: Emily Jacquard, secretary general, Reporters
Without Borders, (514) 521-4111, Cell: (514) 258-4208, Fax: (514) 521-7771,
rsfcanada@rsf.org

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