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C 155 E/26 Official Journal of the European Union EN 3.7.


(2003/C 155 E/026) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2522/02

by Jens-Peter Bonde (EDD) to the Commission

(11 September 2002)

Subject: Police wiretapping of Jyllands-Posten

Is it compatible with EU rules for the police to wiretap Jyllands-Posten and attempt to force a journalist to
reveal his sources?

Answer given by Mr Vitorino on behalf of the Commission

(24 October 2002)

The Commission has no information on the case to which the Honourable Member refers.

On the subject of wiretapping made by the police of the Member States, the Commission would like to
point out that this falls under the exclusive competence of the Member States.

It should be added that Directive 97/66/EC of the Parliament and of the Council of 15 December 1997
concerning the processing of personal data and the protection of privacy in the telecommunications
secto (1) provides for an obligation for Member States to ensure the confidentiality of communications by
means of a public telecommunications network and publicly available telecommunications services.
Article 14 of this Directive allows Member States to adopt legislative measures to restrict the scope of this
obligation when such a restriction constitutes a necessary measure to safeguard national security, defense,
public security, the prevention, investigation, detection and prosecution of criminal offences or of
unauthorized use of the telecommunications system. Moreover, this approach is confirmed by Article 15(1)
of Directive 2002/58/EC of the Parliament and of the Council of 12 July 2002 concerning the processing
of personal data and the protection of privacy in the electronic communications secto (2).

(1) OJ L 24, 30.1.1998.

(2) OJ L 201, 31.7.2002.

(2003/C 155 E/027) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2526/02

by Olivier Dupuis (NI) to the Commission

(11 September 2002)

Subject: Hunger strike by more than 700 prisoners in Tunisia

More than 700 prisoners of conscience in prisons at Sfax, Mahdia, Kairouan (El-Houareb) and Bizerte
(Bourj-Eroumi) launched a hunger strike on 26 August 2002. They are demanding that the Tunisian
authorities proclaim a general amnesty and that they put an end to the suffering  including torture and
degrading treatment  which they have been inflicting on political prisoners and prisoners of conscience
for over 12 years. According to information gathered by the OMCT (World Organisation against Torture)
the prisoners of conscience given the longest sentences and suffering the worst conditions of imprison-
ment in Tunisia are those prisoners who were tried during the great trials of 1992 carried out against the
Islamist party, Ennhada. Numerous prisoners have died, either under torture or for lack of care; the last of
these, Abdewahab Bou Saa, died in March 2002.

Is the Commission aware of this hunger strike protest in which more than 700 Tunisian prisoners are
taking part? Has the Commission carried out an in-depth study of the circumstances under which these
individuals were tried and sentenced and of their conditions of imprisonment? What initiatives has the
Commission taken or does it intend to take to persuade the Tunisian authorities to proclaim a general
amnesty for those who stood trial in the early 1990s and, in more general terms, for all those imprisoned
for their opinions or their peaceful political activities?