According to his lawyer Noureddine B'hiri, Jebali's health is deteriorating quickly. He is very faint and weak, B'hiri said, adding that Jebali's wife, Wahida Trabelsi, is demanding that an outside doctor be allowed to examine Jebali's condition.
Jebali, the former editor of Al-Fajr, the now defunct weekly newspaper of the banned Islamic Al-Nahda party, began the strike on April 9. Last month, B'hiri told CPJ, the prison staff stopped delivering Jebali the food prescribed by his doctors for his preexisting heart condition. B'hiri also said that Jebali's hunger strike is in protest of his more than 10 years in solitary confinement.
Jebali was initially imprisoned in 1991 due to an article he wrote calling for the abolition of military tribunals in Tunisia. Tried the following year by a military court, along with nearly 300 others accused of belonging to Al-Nahda, he was later sentenced to 16 years in prison. International human rights groups monitoring the mass trial concluded that the proceedings fell far below international standards of justice.
"Hamadi Jebali has been unjustly jailed for more than a decade," said CPJ executive director Ann Cooper. "Regardless of this hunger strike, he should be released from prison at once."