Annual Report 2013
The state of the world's human rights

31 July 2007

Tunisian lawyer Mohammed Abbou released

Tunisian lawyer Mohammed Abbou released

A Tunisian lawyer and 21 other long-term political prisoners were released under a presidential pardon on 24 July to mark the 50th anniversary of the Republic of Tunisia.

Mohammed Abbou was released after having served 28 months of his 3½-year sentence. The human rights defender and lawyer had been adopted by Amnesty International as a prisoner of conscience detained solely for the peaceful expression of his views.

He was convicted for denouncing torture in Tunisia in an article he posted on the internet in 2004 and for allegedly assaulting a female colleague in 2002, The sentence was handed down in April 2005 after an unfair trial, which Amnesty International observed.

Most of the 21 other political prisoners who were released had been imprisoned for over 14 years because of their membership of the banned Islamist organization, Ennahda (Renaissance), after unfair trials before the Bouchoucha and Bab Saadoun military courts in 1992.

All of the releases are conditional. Any former prisoner who breaches the conditions of his release can be rearrested and made to serve the remainder of his sentence by decision of the Minister of Justice, without any judicial process, or placed under house arrest for the same period.

Amnesty International welcomes the releases and calls on the Tunisian government to uphold the country's obligations under both national law and international human rights law and standards and to lift restriction arbitrarily imposed on former political prisoners.

Amnesty International also calls on the Tunisian authorities to amend or repeal all laws that continue to allow prison sentences for the peaceful exercise of the right to freedom of expression and association or assembly.

Issue

Detention 
Prisoners Of Conscience 

Country

Tunisia 

Region

Middle East And North Africa 

@amnestyonline on twitter

News

18 September 2014

Nigeria’s police and military routinely torture women, men, and children – some as young as 12 – using a wide range of methods including beatings, shootings and rape... Read more »

25 September 2014

El Salvador has one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the world. Abortion is totally banned in all circumstances and harsh prison sentences befall those accused of... Read more »

30 September 2014

Fiji authorities must urgently investigate allegations that a man was severely beaten by army officers after he had sent a series of angry text messages to Prime Minister Frank... Read more »

30 September 2014

A year on from the Lampedusa shipwrecks, which claimed more than 500 lives, a new report highlights how the shameful inaction of EU countries has contributed to the deaths of... Read more »

29 September 2014

Iranian authorities have today confirmed that a woman convicted of killing a man whom she said tried to sexually abuse her will be hanged tomorrow morning at a prison... Read more »