mardi 7 août 2012

Assaulted by the Cops!

On August 5, 2012, I went to Avenue Habib Bourguiba to take part in a peaceful rally meant at denouncing the failures of the government. An event that has been scheduled several days ago by some actors of the civil society as well as some  cyber-activists and independent citizens.

Once there, I went to see a bunch of friends gathered at the cafe "The Univers'' including: Rym El Benna, Abdessalem Hamdi, Slim Amamou and many others. The scene was incredible:a number of  police officers occupied some of the neighboring tables, others dressed in "Fighting uniform" were on the median strip of the Avenue. We learned that the cops have chased away the persons sitting on   the stairs of the Municipal Theater.

At 9.30,  we decided to move and start our rally on the median strip in front of the Municipal Theater. At first the police tried to disperse us, using the pretext of the state of emergency- not allowing the gathering of more than three people in public places. We decided to move in the direction of the Ministry of Interior and chanted the slogan: "Oh People wake up,  the" Nahdhaouis" is stealing your money". The cops attacked us. Bikers tore along the median strip anddrove right into  the crowd to disperse us. The scene was much like the attack of the camel in Tahrir Square in Cairo. Rym El Benna was beside me when we both received blows to the head. Friends of ours took us away from the place.

After a long time we returned  to the coffee shop where we had met earlier.  A group of young persons started singing "chayed Kousourek" of Cheikh Imam. Our mad police men who hate art, beauty, music and youth  threw chairs, tables and glasses to chase us away.

I left the main street  to get some rest and drink water before returning to a side street to observe what was happening from a distance. I lacked the strength to face the police and to take photos. The blows I received on the head were badly hurting... Suddenly a policeman in plainclothes  (someone I already know) grabbed me by the arm and dragged  me  away  from my friends. I started screaming and yelling, he was joined by two then  three other cops and then their number  increased. They all worked unceasingly to take my backpack but I  resisted. Indeed, one of them was holding me by the neck, two others tried to tear out my bag whereas the others were having  fun  beating me and tearing me clothes ... ... A young man rushed to free me  from their hell: "let her for me" .. and he violently pushed me and asked me to run away, "run , run,run" he said ...In my first interview (for Shems FM) I talked about three cops, I was still under the  shock but looking back I remembered faces (I know some) and friends have confirmed thatthey have been ten to assault me. 

Once  in security, I discovered  that those thieves succeeded in stealing my camera.  I decided to go back and to get it back . Clashes between the protesters and police continued . The latter looked like rabid dogs running in all directions, insulting  and hitting  people arbitrarily The scene was worthy of December 2010.Later some friends and journalists managed to have my camera without the memory card and I was driven  to the emergency.

My gift for the 'militants asking for money . ( photo taken in the emergency service)

3 commentaires:

  1. Bastards.
    "A young man rushed to free me from their hell: "let her for me" .. and he violently pushed me and asked me to run away". Curiosity: what happened then to him? Do you know? He might have got beaten badly for that...

  2. Hello.

    I just arrived yesterday from London so I didn't saw earlier this photos and the text. Well I'm shocked. In many countries people take advantage of being in the Police to show a force that in reality they don't have. Inside they are cowards without respect and eucation.
    I hope you are better know.

  3. You are so, so brave for standing up to the injustice that goes on and affects so many - their voices cannot be heard, so you scream extra loud for them. You have true courage, and a free spirit that will not be silenced. I look up to you, hoping one day I might be able to make a change.


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