Imprisoned cyber-dissident’s French fiancée denied entry on arrival in Tunis

first_img Forum on Information and Democracy 250 recommendations on how to stop “infodemics” News RSF_en to go further Tunisia : RSF asks Tunisian president’s office to respect journalists News TunisiaMiddle East – North Africa November 11, 2020 Find out more November 12, 2019 Find out more Receive email alerts TunisiaMiddle East – North Africa center_img Organisation December 26, 2019 Find out more Help by sharing this information News June 4, 2003 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Imprisoned cyber-dissident’s French fiancée denied entry on arrival in Tunis News Follow the news on Tunisia Reporters Without Borders today voiced its outrage at the action of the Tunisian authorities in denying entry to the French fiancée of jailed cyber-dissident Zouhair Yahyaoui when she arrived in Tunis yesterday with the intention of spending 4 June, the first anniversary of Yahyaoui’s arrest, with his family.”What crime did this young French woman commit to deserve being turned back aside from her love for a man who has been unjustly imprisoned for a year?” Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Robert Ménard said. “This is simply disgraceful and is it yet further proof – if any were needed – that the Tunisian authorities have nothing but contempt for human rights,” he added.The refusal to admit Sophie Piekarec came on the eve of the arrival in Tunis of French under-secretary for foreign trade François Loos on an official visit.Piekarec yesterday took an Air France flight that was due to arrive in Tunis at the end of the afternoon. Yahyaoui’s family went to Tunis’ Carthage airport to meet her, waiting in vain until 10 p.m. On her return to in Paris at noon today, she told Reporters Without Borders that officials had confiscated her passport and return ticket on arrival at Carthage airport and, after several hours of waiting, informed her that she was “not authorised to enter Tunisian territory” and would have to return to France the next morning.Ever since Yahyaoui’s arrest on 4 June 2002, Piekarec has undertaken many initiatives internationally in an effort to obtain his release. Using the pseudonym of El Warda (which means flower in Arabic), she is one of the moderators of TUNeZINE, the website founded by her fiancé. As well as intending to spend the anniversary of his arrest with his family, she had been scheduled to meet this afternoon with the French ambassador to Tunis, Yves Aubin de La Messuzière.Yahyaoui has been on a hunger strike since 15 May to protest against his conditions of detention. Following his arrest a year ago by plain-clothes police in an Internet café, he was subjected to interrogation that included three sessions of “suspension,” a form of torture in which the victim is suspended by the arms with his feet barely touching the ground. The Tunis appeal court sentenced him on 10 July 2002 to two years in prison for “spreading false news.” As a writer, Yahyaoui used the pseudonym “Ettounsi,” which means Tunisian in Arabic. He created the TUNeZINE website in July 2001 to distribute opposition documents online and thereby provide information about the fight for democracy and freedoms in Tunisia. He was one of the first to distribute a letter to the president by Judge Mokhtar Yahyaoui criticising the judicial system. Eleven organizations from civil society create the Forum on Information & Democracy, a structural response to information disorderlast_img

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