5 February 1998


Human Rights Leader On Trial

Incident details

Khemais Ksila


legal action

(ARTICLE 19/IFEX) - On 5 February 1998, Khemais Ksila, vice-President of
the Tunisian Human Rights League (LTDH), will be tried on criminal charges
because he announced that he would go on hunger strike after the Tunisian
authorities had him dismissed from his job and confiscated his passport. Mr
Ksila was arrested on 29 September 1997 after he released a communique in
which he declared that he decided to start a hunger strike in protest
against the Tunisian authorities' measures against him.

According to Said Essoulami, Head of Article 19's Middle East and North
Africa Programme, "these arbitrary measures are a grave violation of Mr
Ksila's right to freedom of expression as guaranteed and protected by the
International Covenant on Political and Civil Rights ratified by Tunisia as
well as under the Tunisian Constitution. They were taken with the objective
to force Mr Ksila to renounce his legitimate human rights work. What is on
trial is the right to freedom of expression in Tunisia. The government
objective is to silence every independent and critical voice and at the same
time to portray in the West an image of a democratic and a safe country for
tourists and investors. International public opinion is not duped, the
government policy is unmasked."

Recommended Action

Send appeals to authorities:

  • urging them to drop the charges against Mr Ksila
  • appealing to them to release him immediately and without condition
  • asking them to allow him to resume his job and return his confiscated
    passport without further harassment

    Appeals To

    His Excellency Zine El Abidine Ben Ali
    President of the Republic of Tunisia
    Presidential Palace
    Tunis, Tunisia
    Fax: +216 1 744 721

    M. Abdallah Kallel
    Ministre de la Justice
    Ministere de la Justice
    Boulevard Bab Benat
    Tunis, Tunisia
    Fax: +216 1 568 106

    M. Mohamed Jegham
    Ministre de l'Interieur
    Ministere de l'Interieur
    Av. Habib Bourguiba
    Tunis, Tunisia
    Fax: +216 1 340 888

    Tunisian Human Rights League:
    Me Taoufik Bouderbala, President
    Ligue Tunisienne des Droits de l'Homme, LTDH
    21 Rue Imam el Bakri
    1002 Tunis Belvedere

    Please copy appeals to the source if possible.

  • Source

    ARTICLE 19: Global Campaign for Free Expression
    6-8 Amwell Street
    EC1R 1UQ
    United Kingdom
    info (@) article19.org
    Fax:+44 20 7278 7660

    IFEX members working in this country 1

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