Cable sobre Mohamed Abbou, dos años en prisión por dos 'posts'

ID:58416
Date:2006-03-28 12:26:00
Origin:06TUNIS730
Source:Embassy Tunis
Classification:CONFIDENTIAL
Dunno:06TUNIS425
Destination:VZCZCXYZ0001
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTU #0730/01 0871226
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 281226Z MAR 06
FM AMEMBASSY TUNIS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0251
INFO RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 7185
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 1252
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 1558
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 8121

C O N F I D E N T I A L TUNIS 000730

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

NEA/MAG FOR LAWRENCE

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/26/2016
TAGS: PHUM, PGOV, KPAO, TS
SUBJECT: ABBOU UPDATE

REF: TUNIS 425

Classified By: Ambassador William Hudson for Reasons 1.4 b and d

1. (C) Summary: After a year in prison, Mohamed Abbou,
jailed after posting two Internet articles critical of the
GOT, President Ben Ali and his family, continues to receive
attention and support from local and international human
rights groups. The Tunisian Human Rights League head calls
Abbou "the most flagrant example of Tunisia's poor human
rights record." Abbou started his second hunger strike March
11 to protest harassment and restrictions on family visits.
According to his wife, Samia Abbou, family members have in
recent weeks been prevented from conducting normal weekly
prison visits, and Samia herself was reportedly detained at
length at Tunis' international airport while traveling to and
from Geneva to drum up support for her husband's cause.
Abbou, a lawyer without a history of political opposition and
without known ideological ties to Islamists, continues to
represent a rallying point for activists across the board who
support freedom of expression. End Summary.

2. (C) More than a year into a three and half year sentence
for a trumped up assault charge and "spreading false news and
inciting public disorder" following the on-line publication
of articles comparing Tunisia's prisons to Abu Ghraib and
Tunisian president Ben Ali to Ariel Sharon, Mohamed Abbou
continues to motivate the international and domestic human
rights community. In a recent press conference, Tunisian
Human Rights League President Mohktar Trifi called the case
of Abbou "the most flagrant example of Tunisia's poor human
rights record." Gamal Eid, Executive Director of Egypt-based
Arabic Network for Human Rights Information recently referred
to Abbou as "the most famous Arab prisoner of opinion."
Numerous organizations continue to petition the GOT for
Abbou's release.

3. (C) On March 11, Mohamed Abbou began his second hunger
strike since his incarceration on March 1, 2005 to protest
worsening detention conditions and the refusal of full
familial visiting privileges. According to domestic human
rights groups and Abbou's wife, Abbou has been subjected to
harassment in prison following a demonstration that was
blocked by GOT authorities March 2 in front of the Kef prison
in northwestern Tunisia where Abbou is incarcerated. Abbou
allegedly has been awoken late at night by prison guards for
random searches of his cell and has suffered "harassment"
from fellow detainees, allegedly incited by prison
authorities. Samia Abbou told Poloff that regular family
visits to Kef prison have been significantly limited or
blocked completely since March 2. Abbou said that she has
been followed on the 300 km drive from Tunis to Kef and
stopped by authorities up to 12 times en route. Furthermore,
Samia Abbou reported that she had been detained for up to six
hours by authorities at the Tunis International Airport while
traveling to and from Geneva to attend solidarity meetings
for her husband. She told poloff that police confiscated a
photo of Mohamed Abbou from her without citing any reason for
the seizure.

4. (C) Following the February 2 release of over 1600
prisoners, including approximately 80 political prisoners
(reftel), many interlocutors were disappointed that Abbou was
not among those pardoned. On the same day as press reports
of the presidential pardon, local newspapers also reported
that officials from the Ministry of Justice asked the Tunis
Bar Association to ensure that Mohamed Abbou could not
conduct any activities related to his profession as a lawyer
while serving his prison sentence. This announcement
followed rumors that Abbou might be nominated as a candidate
for the presidency of the NGO the Young Lawyers Association
(YLA), a group that, once renowned for its independence, has
in recent years allegedly been coopted by pro-ruling party
RCD leadership. Legal contacts said that an Abbou candidacy
for the YLA would have been supported widely due to the fame
of his case, and could effectively challenge the current RCD
power monopoly in the organization.

5. (C) Comment: NGO representatives, human rights activists,
and Samia Abbou continue to seek USG assistance in efforts to
free Mohamed Abbou. Some of these interlocutors have
suggested that the USG maintains a distance from Abbou
because he is perceived as an Islamist, a claim his wife
laughingly rejects. Although we point to public statements
and multiple demarches on the Abbou case as examples of our
efforts on his behalf, the "Free Abbou" community will
continue to seek USG intervention as long as he remains
imprisoned. End Comment.
HUDSON
Traduce este documento »

Traducción automática. Puede que el texto traducido no sea fiel al original

Buscador de cables

Ver todos los documentos »
Más información
El arma es la red
Únete a EL PAÍS para seguir toda la actualidad y leer sin límites.
Suscríbete

Archivado En

Recomendaciones EL PAÍS
Recomendaciones EL PAÍS
Recomendaciones EL PAÍS