English PEN warmly welcomes the release on 24 July 2007 of its Honorary Member, the Tunisian lawyer and dissident writer Mohammed Abbou, after serving two years and four months of his three and a half year prison sentence.
Abbou was arrested in March 2005 and imprisoned for exposing torture in Tunisian prisons on the Internet.
In a statement to Al Jazeera immediately following his release, Abbou said, ‘As a former prisoner of conscience, I would like to thank all those in Tunisia and the rest of the world who stood by my side during the ordeal I have been through. The Tunisian authorities offered time and again to release me from prison on condition of signing a letter of apology. But I refused to do so… The Tunisian Constitution and international human rights law guarantee the right to criticise the government, as long as there are human rights abuses and corruption. The lack of freedom led some young people to use violence which I strongly denounce…’
The release of Abbou and more than twenty political prisoners came on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the proclamation of the Republic of Tunisia, marked on 25 July.
To read more about Mohammed Abbou’s case, please click here.
Originally posted with the url: www.englishpen.org/writersinprison/bulletins/tunisiareleaseofmohammedabbou/