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Tunisia: Hunger Strike and Censorship

Categories: Middle East & North Africa, Tunisia, Breaking News, Freedom of Speech

Neila Charchour Hachicha [1] writes that the PLM’s web site [2], which was the unique political website accessible in Tunisia has been censored today. [3]

“However we want you to get the declaration of the 7 political personnalities who undertook today October 18th 2005 an unllimited hunger strike. We need the help of all friends to spread the message below”, Neila said.

The action to censor the Parti Libéral Méditerranéen (Mediterranean Liberal Party) [4] seems to have come after the Party published CALL TO THE PUBLIC OPINION [4]. In this call, representatives of associations from the civil society and political parties, decided to undertake an unlimited hunger strike as from October 18th, 2005. The hunger strikers launch a pressing call to all the democratic forces, associations, parties, independent personalities, to mobilize around this strike, bring any form of support to it and make succeed its claims, which are a prelude to Reforms and Democratic Change.

They claim:

1. Freedom of association by:

  • * Recognizing all associations and parties that claim a legal existence
  • * Removing all obstacles, which block the activity of associations and legally recognized parties, in particular the Tunisian Association of the Magistrates, the Tunisian League of Human Rights and the Tunisian Journalists Syndicate.
  • 2. Freedom for the press and the media by:

  • * Stopping the censure striking the written media, publications and Internet sites
  • * Suspending pressures exerted on journalists
  • * Opening the audio-visual media to all schools of thought
  • * Instituting an independent and plural authority, which would deal with the control of this public utility
  • * Giving receipts to all newspapers which ask for the authorization to publish (while waiting for the abrogation of this unjust measure).
  • 3. The immediate release of political prisoners

  • * The release of all political prisoners, Islamists, Net surfers, young people wrongfully accused of terrorism as well as the release of the lawyer Mohammed Abbou and the adoption of a general amnesty law.
  • The hunger strikers launch a pressing call to all the democratic forces, associations, parties, independent personalities, to mobilize around this strike, bring any form of support to it and make succeed its claims, which are a prelude to Reforms and Democratic Change.

    Update: Blog [5] (French) and Photos [6] of Hunger Strike.