Tunisian student jailed over interviews

Tunisian student jailed over interviews

 Global Voices, the international rights group blog, reported that Tunisian student Mohamed Soudani, 24, disappeared on October 22, 2009, in Tunisia, after giving interviews to Radio Monte Carlo International and Radio France International. He has been imprisoned ever since, which has led to widespread worries over his safety and health.

According to Global Voices, Soudani had been missing for 18 days until Tunisia’s police contacted his family to inform them that their son was being detained in the Murnaguiya prison some 10 miles from the Tunisian capital, Tunis.

According to sources Global Voices spoke with, “the police also informed Soudani’s family that he was put on trial and convicted for ‘disorderly conduct’ during his detention without legal counsel and was sentenced to four months in prison. They also learned that he had since appealed his sentence.”

During his court appearance on December 6, Soudani denied all charges filed against him and said that he was tortured aggressively during his extrajudicial detention. His lawyers called for a recess in order to study the case and demanded his release on bail. The release request was denied while his trial was adjourned until this week.

“Soudani was interviewed about his past activities as a student leader in the General Union of the Students of Tunisia. He was involved last year in a 56-day hunger strike with another four students demanding their right to go back to school. They have also blogged about their hunger strike experience day by day on a blog which had been censored in Tunisia,” Global Voices wrote of the case.

A Facebook group and a blog have been created to support Mohamed Soudani in the hardships he is experiencing.