Prisoner of the Month January 2006 Mohammed Abbou

Mohammed AbbouMohammed Abbou, Tunisian on-line internet writer, lawyer and human rights activist, was arrested in March 2005 for an article published on the internet nine months earlier that denounced torture in Tunisia.


Following his arrest on 1 March 2005, he was taken on 9 April to a prison in Tunis. Abbou was sentenced during the night of 28-29 April 2005 to two years in prison for an incident at a 2002 conference in which the lawyer allegedly attacked a colleague.  Abbou was also sentenced to 18 months for “having published information that would disturb public order” and for “insulting the judiciary” in an article posted on the Tunisnews website in August 2004 ( which compared torture committed against political prisoners in Tunisia to abuses carried out by US soldiers in Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison.

It is thought that Abbou’s arrest on 1 March 2005 and the subsequent prison sentences handed down to him (which were upheld on appeal on 10 June 2005) are in fact linked to a 28 February 2005 article posted on the Tunisnews website in which he ironically compared Tunisian President Ben Ali to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

Mohammed Abbou went on a hunger strike for several days in July 2005 to, in his words, “draw attention to what is happening in my country as regards the repression against all those who voice dissent.”

Please send appeals calling for the release of Mohammed Abbou to:

President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali

Président de la République

Palais Présidentiel



Fax: 00 216 71 744 721

Originally posted with the url:

About English PEN staff

This content is published by the English PEN staff.

View all posts by English PEN staff →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *