A video widely circulated in Tunisia, showing a 15-year-old naked and beaten by security forces in a neighborhood of the capital, sparked a state of popular anger and a wave of widespread criticism of the government and its president, Hicham Al-Mashichi, who is acting interior minister.
The scene came in light of the state of congestion and protests in the popular Sidi Hussein area in the center of the capital, after the news of the death of another young man as a result of torture in a security station spread, while Khaled Al-Hayouni, the official spokesman for the Ministry of Interior, confirmed that the individual mistakes of the security personnel did not reflect the general directions of the Ministry of the Interior, declaring that they were Opening an investigation, suspending those involved in the incident from work, and taking a number of measures against them, considering that this in itself constitutes a rejection of these errors.
In a statement, the Tunisian General Labor Union held the Prime Minister in charge of managing the affairs of the Ministry of Interior, Hisham Al-Mashishi, responsible for the repeated violations in his period, and strongly denounced what he called “the brutal and heinous repression that a teenager was subjected to in Sidi Hussein in the capital by security agents,” considering that the teenager was subjected to torture. To abuse and drag him and strip him of his clothes on the side of the road and in front of the eyes of passers-by and residents, adding that “these violations represent a repressive policy to silence social and popular protests, which will only increase the situation in congestion and tension.”
The Tunisian General Labor Union demanded the prosecution of those found to be involved in carrying out or ordering this repression, calling on the Public Prosecution to open an investigation and not to submit to any pressure.
MP Mabrouk Kourshid criticized the “Long Live Tunisia Bloc” for “stripping the young man of all his clothes and brutally assaulting him,” noting that such a picture took place in Tunisia in a public space, which cannot be silenced about as a crime of torture within the meaning of Article 101 bis of the penal code, stressing that The issue will have repercussions on Tunisia in international forums, and he called Parliament to hold a meeting to take a decision and hold responsibilities.
criticism of the government
The Tunisia Project movement held Prime Minister Hicham Al-Mashichi, in his capacity as acting Minister of the Interior, fully responsible for the deterioration in the situation of rights and freedoms in Tunisia, calling on the judicial authorities to open serious research to determine responsibilities in these facts and to track and hold the culprits accountable, while the Afaq Tounes party expressed its condemnation of all forms of abuse of power. And violations of human rights, and the excessive use of force against youth and the general public, calling on the judicial authority and the supervisory structures of the Ministry of Interior to investigate the circumstances of these events, and to hold accountable all those found to have violated the law, both criminally and administratively.
The National Authority for the Prevention of Torture called on Al-Mashishi to “assume his full responsibility in addressing cases of violations of citizens’ rights and abuse by law enforcement officials who report to his ministry and to take measures to ensure that such practices are not repeated.”
For its part, the Judges Association clarified that “the Public Prosecution’s permission to keep the assaulted young man in the area of Sidi Hussein, was based on what was reported to it by the security agents on the day of the incident, and that as soon as it confirmed the truth of the incident and the assault documented in the video clip, it took permission to release the accused.” The young man opened preliminary investigations against the security forces who committed grave abuses against him.”