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<nettime> Internet editor imprisoned in Tunisia
Claire Walsh on Thu, 12 Jun 2003 11:44:38 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Internet editor imprisoned in Tunisia

There is currently deep concern about the health of Zouhair Yahyaoui, 
who was imprisoned almost exactly a year ago for criticising human 
rights violations in Tunisia in his lively, irreverent (and very 
popular) webzine. I don't think I've read about the case on Nettime but 
I'm sure nettimers will want to to know about it, so I'm posting details 
from PEN. Here is a link to Tunezine: http://www.tunezine.com/

The Writers In Prison Committee of International PEN is disturbed by
reports that Zouhair Yahyaoui is not receiving adequate medical care 
whilst in prison. PEN also continues to be very concerned at the prison 
conditions of the journalist, founder of the internet site TUNeZINE.com. 
Yahyaoui was sentenced to two years imprisonment on charges of "propagation of 
false news", "non-authorised usage of an Internet connection" and "theft from 
an employer".

Following a second hunger strike, on this occasion to protest against 
what he claims to be torture and ill-treatment by prison guards, Zouhair
Yahyaoui has reportedly been denied adequate medical care. The 
journalist was forced to give up his hunger strike due to severe stomach pains. 
He was visited by a doctor but no treatment for his condition has been offered. 

The cyberdissident has previously suffered from acute kidney problems 
but it is not known if his present medical condition is related to these 

Since his incarceration, which began on 20 June 2002, Yahyaoui has lived 
in squalid prison conditions. He has had infrequent access to water, his 
cell has been infested by cockroaches and he has suffered from scabies. 
Problems of overcrowding, unbearable heat and appalling sanitary conditions are 
also present in the prison.

International PEN demands that the Tunisian authorities ensure that 
Zouhair Yahyaoui receives adequate medical care as a matter of urgency. PEN 
calls for an improvement in his prison conditions and insists that those who 
are responsible for any mistreatment of the journalist be brought to 
justice. Above all PEN also calls for a dropping of charges against Yahyaoui and 
his immediate release.

Send Appeals:

- Urging the Tunisian authorities to ensure that Zouhair Yahyaoui receives 
  adequate medical care immediately;
- Expressing alarm at reports of the torture and ill-treatment of the journalist;
- Demanding an immediate improvement in Zouhair Yahyaoui's prison conditions;
- Calling for charges to be dropped and for his immediate release.

Appeals to:

PrE9sident Zine El Abidine Ben Ali
PrE9sident de la RE9publique
Palais PrE9sidentiel
Fax: + 216 71 744 721

Hedi M'Henni
Ministre de l'IntE9rieur
Avenue Habib Bourguiba
1001 Tunis
Fax: + 216 71 340 888
E-mail: mint {AT} ministeres.tn

Ministre de la Justice
MinistE8re de la Justice
31, Av. Bab Benat,
1006 Tunis - La Kasbah
Fax: + 216 71 568 106
E-mail: mju {AT} ministeres.tn

For further information please contact Sara Birch at the Writers in Prison
Committee of International PEN, 9/10 Charterhouse Buildings, London EC1M 
7AT, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 (0) 207 253 3226 Fax: +44 (0) 207 253 5711 
Email: intpen {AT} gn.apc.org

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