الثلاثاء، 12 نوفمبر 2013

Freedom and Equity: Statement On Illegal Arrests and Human Rights violation by Counter Terrorism Security Forces

    الثلاثاء, نوفمبر 12, 2013   No comments

Tunis, on November 5th, 2013

     On Tuesday, October 23we in Menzel Bourguiba, Bizerte, a National Guard officer was shot dead. The assailant remained unknown. Subsequently, anti-terrorist units invaded homes and arrested several civilians arbitrarily with total disregard to legal procedures, without even showing a search order. Both, Seif Eddin Ennajar and Kubail Ennasri admitted that they were beaten and tortured physically and psychologically after they were pulled into a jail cell where they were kept under arrest. Seif Eddin added that on the evening of Thursday, October 24th, 2013, he was in a café when a police car belonging to the intervention forces stopped by; some officers got out of the car and headed toward him.
They attacked him, forced him into the car and beat him harshly then took him to regional police office in Menzel Bourguiba, where 30 other suspects were having the same lot, being humiliated and beaten violently. One of the officers who arrested Seif Eddin pointed to a colleague of his saying ironically “Get him what he needs”, which means ‘do beat him up’. The second officer did as he was ordered. He seized his victim, beat and hit him in all parts of his body. Seifeddin tells further that the officer cuffed his hands and feet and flogged him on the feet. According to Seif’s testimony, he saw one of the arrested men was hanged on a tree while agents kept striking and whipping him turning deaf ear to the man as he shouted that he was suffering from a kidney disease. The officer replied sarcastically wishing him soon death. In his turn, Kubail Ennasri added that on Thursday, October 24th, a counter terrorism unit invaded his friend’s home where he was spending the night and terrorized women and children. He was taken then to the regional police office in Menzel Bourguiba, and he obtained no answer as to why he was arrested. Once in the police office, agents beat him up and ordered him to crawl while they kept striking him till he fainted.

As a response to the two testimonies, Freedom and Equity, the Tunisian human rights organization
1.condemns the fact that police officers continue to use all means of torture against arrested individuals; this is considered as an apparent violation to all human rights charters as well as a manifest challenge to the revolution foundations and basic demands which are freedom and dignity;
2. considers arbitrary arrests far away from being the efficient way to fight terrorism; on the opposite, under the pretext of terrorism, they posit serious threats to all sorts of freedom;
3. insists that torture can never be justified no matter what the committed crime is even in the case of a terrorist crime;
4. warns all concerned parties from the dangerous outcomes that can be caused when security forces transgress their prerogatives and violate the law out of revengeful thoughts ; police agents are supposed to obey orders and respect the judiciary power and not take revenge by themselves;
5. declares the minister of Interior and the prime minister responsible for serious human rights violations when fighting terrorism since they resorted to political categorization
instead of rushing to reform the previous unconstitutional legal framework to support international counter terrorism efforts.

Imen Triki,
Freedom and Equity president


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