On April 9th 2012, we were in front of the academic medical center, in Avenue Mohamed V when I found myself in the first row of the demonstrators. The concern of the security forces being the respect of the demonstration ban in Avenue Habib Bourguiba, we started discussing with them the possibility of their withdrawal until the end of the Mohamed V, at its junction with Avenue Habib Bourguiba. We reminded them of their pledges to be on the side of the people and to protect the republic...They were pushing us violently to force us to give up...I was trying to protect Lina , as I noticed that two policemen were gazing at her with a big hatred.Suddenly, a truncheon hit my elbow. I started shouting in protest ... I was trapped in a jostle . I saw the hand of a policeman extending in my direction and slapping me. I was so angry and I started shouting at him and tried to catch him but he fled . Two , then three , then four policemen joined me . Some of them apologized and offered me their faces to be slapped. One of them had tearful eyes. They let me sit on the grass to relax.
Suddenly tear gas filled the entire place and hurt everyone, even the police officers. Not far, I saw a young journalist in a very bad situation. One demonstrator advised me to sit ...I recognized one of the constituent assembly members barely breathing. I did not protect Lina ... I lost her. I had to wait for a long time before having of her news. Pushed and beaten, she could not breathe anymore and she lost her consciousness for a while. She was chased by three police officers. Two of them were pulling her breasts whereas the third was beating her savagely.
By Sarah Mersch
By Sarah Mersch
Two hours later, I heard that the Minister Khalil Zaouia ( and I am avoiding to say the doctor, the trade unionist, the human rights defender or the friend ) was interviewed by journalists from radio "Mosaique" and has been laughing whenever he was told that some person was badly beaten by the security forces. Meanwhile , I saw the broken arm of Jawher Ben Mbarek . Then I met Hamma , Radhia and Fatma, they had clear marks of assaults. I stopped a taxi for a young lady whose leg had been broken following a policeman kick and whose pelvis was broken following her fall on the sidewalk. I also saw the police officers chasing a protester using their cars, motorcycles and militia . I saw police officers throwing stones at protesters. I saw a young man falling down under the stones and the police officers preventing some young people from helping him. I heard a veiled young lady shouting from her window and encouraging security forces to use violence against demonstrators. I heard disgusting words and insults...revealing the kind of future waiting for us . Tomorrow will be governed by black plague.