Tunisia: Mohamed Abbou, lawyer

Re: Mohamed Abbou, lawyer

To: H.E. Mr. Bechir TAKKARI, Minister of Justice

From: Charles B. Davison, member of LRWC

Date: 2005-05-03

I am writing to you at this time concerning the case of Mohamed Abbou, who is a 39 year old lawyer and member of the National Council for Civil Liberties in Tunisia. Mr. Abbou has just been sentenced to imprisonment for three years and six months as a result, it would appear, of peacefully expressing his views and opinions upon issues of concern to him and others in your country. In particular, I understand he published an article over the Internet in August 2004 condemning the use of torture in Tunisian jails. He has also expressed disapproval of the decision of your government to invite Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to attend a November meeting of a United Nations organization in Tunisia.

We are concerned about the situation of Me. Abbou mainly because his conviction and imprisonment seem to stem only from his expression of views and opinions. As you know, international law and convention recognize the rights and freedoms of all persons to have and to express opinions and views upon many different subjects and issues, even where those views might not be favoured or supported by the individual’s government and other authorities.

We respectfully call for Mohamed Abbou to be released immediately and his convictions quashed. We ask that from now on the rights and freedoms of expression and opinion which he (and all other citizens of and persons in your country) hold under international law be recognized and respected., password: gdavidson