[Tunisia] Blogger’s sentence upheld; fears for safety

English PEN joins the Writers in Prison Committee of PEN International in condemning the detention of blogger Jabeur Mejri, whose seven-and-a-half year sentence for expressing allegedly blasphemous views online was confirmed by the Court of Cassation on 25 April 2013.  Mejri has been in prison since his arrest on 5 March 2012.

PEN considers Jabeur Mejri to be targeted solely for the peaceful exercise of his right to freedom of expression as guaranteed by Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Tunisia is a signatory.  We are therefore calling for his immediate and unconditional release and urgently seeking guarantees of his safety in detention. Please join us.

For further information on Mejri’s case, please visit the PEN International website.

TAKE ACTION

Please send appeals:

  • Condemning the harsh prison sentence handed down to blogger Jabeur Mejri solely for the peaceful exercise of his right to free expression;
  • Calling for his immediate and unconditional release in accordance with Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Tunisia is a signatory;
  • Expressing concerns for his safety, and seeking assurances that he is not being tortured or ill-treated in detention, in accordance with Article 5 of the ICCPR;
  • Urging the Tunisian authorities to allow him access to immediate medical attention as a matter of urgency.

Appeals to:

President

Moncef Marzouki
Palais Présidentiel
Tunis, Tunisia
Fax: +216 71 744 721

Prime Minister

Ali Laarayedh
Place du Gouvernement – La Kasbah
Tunis 1020, Tunisia
Email : boc@pm.gov.tn

Minister of Justice

Nadhir Ben Ammou
Ministry of Justice
31 boulevard Bab Benat
Tunis 1006, Tunisia
Email : mju@ministeres.tn
Fax: +216 71 568 106

Minister of Human Rights and Transitional Justice

Samir Dilu
2 rue d’Alger 1000 – Tunis
Fax : +216 71 349 900
e-mail : boc@maffepa.gov.tn

Ambassador to the UK
 
His Excellency Mr Hatem Atallah
29 Prince’s Gate
London
SW7 1QG
Fax: 020 7584 3205

And copies to:

Directeur général des prisons
Rue 8003, Appartement –L-
Espace de Tunis Monplaisir
Tunisia
Fax: +216 71 904 472

Or you could use the form below.  A sample letter is provided but it is always better if you put the appeal in your own words.

[ecampaign ‘to=boc@pm.gov.tn ‘ subject=”In support of Jabeur Mejri”]

Your Excellency

I am writing to you as a supporter of English PEN, the founding centre of the international association of writers, to protest the the detention of blogger Jabeur Mejri. 

According to PEN’s information, Mejri’s seven-and-a-half year sentence for expressing allegedly blasphemous views online was confirmed by the Court of Cassation on 25 April 2013.  Mejri has been in prison since his arrest on 5 March 2012.

I consider Jabeur Mejri to be targeted solely for the peaceful exercise of his right to freedom of expression as guaranteed by Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Tunisia is a signatory.  I am therefore calling for his immediate and unconditional release.

I  was also gravely concerned by reports that Mejri was tortured during his interrogation and that he has since been attacked by fellow prisoners. I am therefore seeking assurances that he is not being tortured or ill-treated in detention in accordance with Article 5 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and urge the Tunisian authorities to allow him access to medical attention as a matter of urgency.

I would welcome your comments on my appeal.

Yours sincerely

[/ecampaign]

About Cat Lucas

Cat Lucas is English PEN's Writers at Risk Programme Manager

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