Saber Ragoubi was sentenced to death in Tunisia after being convicted of national security and terrorism-related charges, which he denies. His trial was unfair and he was convicted on the basis of a “confession” he said he was forced to make under torture.
Saber Ragoubi was arrested along with 29 other men near the town of Soliman, some 40km south of Tunis, in December 2006. All 30 were charged with terrorism-related offences, including conspiracy to overthrow the government and belonging to a terrorist organization. The men denied all the charges against them, but were found guilty after an unfair trial. Saber Ragoubi is the only one sentenced to death.
Saber Ragoubi was arrested following clashes between the security forces and an armed group. He told his lawyers he was tortured in the custody of the Department of State Security of the Ministry of the Interior, in Tunis, and later in prison before his trial. At his trial, he told the judge: “I was assaulted in Mornaguia prison and lost three of my front teeth.” However, the court did not adequately investigate the allegations that he and the other men were tortured and forced to “confess”. Amnesty International believes that Saber Ragoubi was tried unfairly. For example he was tried on the basis of information obtained from him and other co-defendants under torture.
Saber Ragoubi’s death sentence was upheld by a higher court in 2008. Tunisia has not carried out any executions since 1991, but prisoners remain on death row in dire conditions. Saber Ragoubi is held in solitary confinement.He is not permitted to receive visits from his family, nor receive correspondence.
Saber Ragoubi’s father told Amnesty International: “I am not allowed to see my son… I would like to visit him to see how he is.” He told Amnesty International that being denied any news about his son is agonizing.