And so Tunisia’s shady love affair with democracy and censorship trots into another phase of contradiction.
That the consistent infringement on the right to freedom of expression passes relatively unnoticed by the Western media is disappointing at best.
Had this been Iran, doubtless the case of Fahem Boukadous would have been paraded in all its garish monstrosity.
As it is, such instances languish on the worthy cyber-pages of organizations such as Reporters Sans Frontiers and the blogosphere.
As the latest on his condition denotes, imprisonment is but the pinnacle of his plight:
Sentenced to four years in prison for filming the popular demonstrations in the mining area of Gafsa in the spring of 2008 for the satellite channel El Hiwar Ettounsi, journalist Boukadous Fahm is in a dramatic condition.
Jailed on July 15, 2010 by police while his health examinations were still ongoing, Fahem is prone to acute asthma attacks. Locked in a cell in the desert, where temperatures can reach 50°C, without care or medical monitoring, his days are numbered.
During his visit to her husband, Afef Benaceur noted the extreme deterioration in his health. A victim of a violent asthma attack on Friday, July 23, Fahem could not see a doctor immediately.
Rather than give him oxygen as required by the medical procedure in such cases, he was kept in detention. It is the other prisoners who alerted the guards at the seriousness of the situation. Its inmates banging on doors, calling for help.
The doctor of the regional hospital of Gafsa not arrive until forty minutes later, finding Boukadous in serious condition. […] Warned too late, he could have been found dead. [Source]
Far from the capital, abrogations are being enacted without comment from the wider international community.
The right to comment upon political developments is one to be enjoyed by all – to be sentenced to four years in prison for the coverage of a protest is deplorable.
It has been said before and must be emphasized again: such repression cannot pass without comment.
As bloggers the onus is our’s to keep the issue on the agenda, multi-lingually.
Human rights are a universal concern – not merely a critique reserved for countries in opposition.