21 September 2005
The final preparatory committee for the upcoming UN World Summit on Information Technology (WSIS) in Tunis in November, which discusses the future of the Internet, is currently being held in Geneva. Paradoxically, human rights defender and lawyer Mr Mohammed Abbou remains imprisoned in Tunis for exercising his freedom of expression on the very medium up for discussion.
Front Line’s Deputy Director, Andrew Anderson and representatives from other international human rights organisations went to Geneva to raise their objections on the imprisonment of Mr Abbou and the deteriorating human rights situation in Tunisia, particularly the numerous repressive restrictions on the media and the Internet.
Mary Lawlor, Director of Front Line said: "President Zine el-Abidene Ben Ali approved the final statement of the last WSIS that stipulates that freedom of expression is an ‘essential foundation’ of the information society. It should be inconceivable that an international summit on the information society is to be held in a country that shows no respect for freedom of expression. Mohammed Abbou should be released immediately and unconditionally.”