- Slim Boukhdir, a jailed Tunisian journalist has again gone on a hunger strike in protest against deplorable prison conditions. Boukhdir, who is serving a year's prison sentence at Sfax, 231 km South of the capital Tunis, started the strike on 13 December.
Slim's wife who visited him told the Paris-based Reporters sans frontières (RSF) that her husband is kept in an unlit cell with common prisoners purposely to allow prison authorities to monitor him as well as prevent him from resuming his reading.
Muhamed Abbu, his lawyer said the judicial authorities' refusal to allow him to visit his client has defied the law.
Despite filing an appeal against his conviction, Boukhdir remains in custody.
RSF has condemned the Tunisian government for its continuous repression of journalists.
"Once again, the Tunisian state is showing its intolerance towards citizens who have the misfortune of criticising its authoritarian nature. The Boukhdir case bears the hallmarks of a score-settling between the government and the free press," RSF said.
"The speed of the trial and the journalist's prison conditions are all evidence of hounding by the regime to silence its opponents. We call on the international press to campaign for Slim Boukhdir."
Tunisia is ranked in 145th place out of 169 countries in Reporters Without Borders' 2007 world press freedom index.
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