IFJ Condemns Tunisian Court Rejection of Journalist Appeal

 


The

International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today condemned a Tunisian

court’s decision to uphold the conviction and four year prison sentence for Fahem

Boukaddous for "forming a criminal association liable to attack

persons".

 

Boukaddous was

charged after covering public demonstrations against unemployment and

corruption in the mining region of Gafsa in 2008 for satellite channel

‘Tunisian Dialogue’.

 

“Fahem’s

conviction was a gross miscarriage of justice, which this court has refused to

correct,” said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. “He has been victimised by a

government that is intolerant of criticism and dissent.”

 

Boukaddous was

unable to attend the trial as he was admitted to hospital for treatment to a

severe asthma condition. According to Ridha Raddaoui, his lawyer, the court

refused to allow the defence team to present their case.

 

Boukaddous was

first convicted on 13th January 2010 after several months in hiding

while his co-accused were first sentenced to four years and then later released

on a presidential pardon.

 

The IFJ

condemned the ruling and accused the Tunisian authorities of waging a campaign

of vilification and intimidation targeting independent journalists, including

such means as arbitrary arrests and sham trials.

 

Representatives

from the Syndicat National des Journalistes Tunisiens (SNJT) attended the

previous trials on behalf of the IFJ and the Federation of Africa Journalists

where they strongly condemned the verdict.

 

The IFJ is

particularly concerned that Boukaddous would not survive a prison term given

the critical state of his health and his urgent need for proper medical care.

 

 


For more information contact the IFJ at

  +32 2 235 2207   


The IFJ represents over

600,000 journalists in 125 countries worldwide