Tunisia campaign

Tunisia Action: 1-31 May 2006

The repression of freedom of expression in Tunisia continues to be of extreme concern to English PEN and we are taking part in International PEN’s Tunisia campaign.

At the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) held in Tunis in November 2005, the Writers in Prison Committee of International PEN witnessed clear indications that the Tunisian government is determined to mask what is in fact a sham-democracy in Tunisia and that the government exercises a disguised but effective censorship. Writers were seen to be clearly working in an environment where self-censorship is firmly in place, where freedom of expression and freedom of association are heavily proscribed. Writers explained that although they wished to write books they saw no point in doing so due to the impossibility of seeing their work published. 

We are currently extremely concerned about the persecution (including imprisonment) of the writers named below in Tunisia. PEN strongly urges the Tunisian authorities to ensure that writers and journalists in Tunisia are not persecuted for exercising their right to express their opinions freely by whichever means – including via the internet – and is calling for the immediate and unconditional release of internet writer and human rights activists Mohammed Abbou and for an immediate end to the persecution of Sihem Bensedrine, Naziha Rjiba, Lofti Hajji and Abdallah Zouari.

PEN believes that these writers are being targeted by the Tunisian authorities solely for peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression.

Originally posted with the url: www.englishpen.org/writersinprison/archivebulletins/tunisiacampaign/

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