The Tunisian government must respect the rule of law
Tuesday, June 5,2007 00:00
By HRinfo
Abdallah Al-Zawary: 16 years in prison and exile is enough The Tunisian government must respect the rule of law

The Tunisian government must respect the rule of law and terminate the house arrest imposed on the journalist and opinion prisoner "Abdallah Al- Zawary" for 5 years (since June 2002 until June 2007), said the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (HRinfo) today.

After 11 years in prison Al- Zawary had been released in June 2002. Immediately when released, he was put under house arrest for 5 years. The Interior Ministry decided to send him to Al- Gerba district of Gergeis City, which lies 500 km away from the Tunisian capital and away from his family and children. The house arrest turned to be an exile and a punishment for him and his family.

During his exile for 5 years in Gergeis City, which is located in the far south of Tunisia, Al- Zawary, a Tunisian journalist and a former deputy editor -in -chef for Al-Fajr Newspaper, was subjected to harassment and fabricated cases such as " exceeding limit of movement, which does not exceed 30 km" and preventing him from using internet cafes, as well as other harassments that he patiently endured until these days, which mark the end of the five years of exile.

As a result, HRinfo calls upon both Arab and international civil society to help Al-Zawary to regain his freedom and return to his family in the Tunisian capital, after spending more than 16 years between jail and unjust house arrest.

About Abdallah Al-Zawary:
  • A Tunisian journalist, known among many of defenders of opinion prisoners as "Nelson Mandela of the Arab world." He was in prison for 16 years and under house arrest for 5 years.
  • He did not practice any kind of violence. The Tunisian government refuses to acknowledge that he is a journalist and an opinion prisoner, solely due to his membership in the Islamic movement.
  • In 1981, He was arrested for the first time after he submitted a request to establish a political party. He was released in the year 1984.
  • He was arrested again in the year 1987 in a campaign launched against the Islamic movement, and then he was released in the year 1989.
  • In the year 1991, he was arrested for his membership in the Islamic Renaissance Movement in Tunisia. He was in prison for 11 years and released in the year 2002, when he was put under house arrest for 5 years, ending at the beginning of June 2007.

The two websites Al-Huwar Net and Tunisia News decided to launch signatures campaign calling upon the Tunisian government to put into effect the court order, which obliges it to end the house arrest allowing him to go back to his family on June 2007.

To participate in the signature campaign, please send your complete name and country to the following emails:
[email protected] or [email protected]