Journalist sentenced in absentia to 14 months in prison

first_img News Organisation December 26, 2019 Find out more News Eleven organizations from civil society create the Forum on Information & Democracy, a structural response to information disorder Reporters Without Borders today condemned the 14-month prison sentence imposed in absentia on journalist Mohamed Fourati on 9 March by an appeal court in Gafsa (400 km south of Tunis) for two articles he wrote in 2002. One, published on the Aqlma online news website, was said to prove he belonged to opposition group. The other was about fund-raising for the family of a political prisoner.“The way the authorities and prosecutors have gone after Fourati shows their determination to silence dissident journalists and writers,” the press freedom organisation said. “The Tunisian government does not permit any opposition, whether in the traditional press or on the Internet. Cyber-dissident Mohammed Abbou, who has been imprisoned since March 2005 for criticising the president online, is a case in point.”Fourati was accused in 2002 of links with a group that helped the families of political prisoners after he wrote an article about fund-raising for the family of detainee Abdelhamid Louhichi for Aqlma online, a website specialising in the Maghreb. Gafsa appeal court judges dismissed the charges twice but determined prosecutors appealed against their rulings and managed to have Fourati retried and convicted by a different appeal court on 9 March.Fourati currently lives in Qatar, where he works for the daily Al-Sharq. He did not go back for the trial and will not have to serve the sentence unless he returns to Tunisia. The Tunisian authorities are refusing to let his wife leave the country to join him in Qatar.He used to be the Tunis correspondent of the London-based Quds Press International news agency, and helped edit Al-Mawqif, the newspaper of the Progressive Democratic Party. He is also a member of a local press freedom watchdog and the Union of Tunisian Journalists (SJT), neither of which is recognised by the government.Abbou has been imprisoned since March 2005 for an article published in August 2004 on the Tunisnews website in which he compared the torture of political prisoners in Tunisia with the mistreatment of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq by US soldiers.———————-Read our weekly “blog review” and create your blog with Reporters without borders: TunisiaMiddle East – North Africa TunisiaMiddle East – North Africa RSF_en November 11, 2020 Find out more March 13, 2007 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Journalist sentenced in absentia to 14 months in prisoncenter_img November 12, 2019 Find out more Forum on Information and Democracy 250 recommendations on how to stop “infodemics” News Help by sharing this information Follow the news on Tunisia News Tunisia : RSF asks Tunisian president’s office to respect journalists to go further Receive email alertslast_img

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