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Tunisia: Police Brutality is Back

This post is part of our special coverage Tunisia Revolution 2011.

Protests continue in Tunisia, following the declarations of former Interior Minister Farhat Rajhi published on a Facebook page called “Skandali”in which he predicts that there would be a military coup, by loyalists of the ousted President, if the Islamist Party Al-Nahdha wins the elections on July 24. He also claimed that Rachid Ammar, Chief of Staff of the Tunisian Armed Forces, went to Qatar to meet with the former President Ben Ali, and that Tunisia continues to be run by a shadow government, headed by a friend of Ben Ali, Kamel Ltaief.

A Tunisian protestor beaten by a policeman in civilian clothes, May 6, 2011. Photo by Twitpic user @worldwideyes.

A Tunisian protestor beaten by a policeman in civilian clothes, May 6, 2011. Photo by Twitpic user @worldwideyes.

Pro democracy protestors gathered twice during the last 24 hours, on Thursday afternoon and on Friday morning, in Hbib Bourguiba Avenue, to call for the overthrow of the government. On the two occasions protestors were brutally dispersed by riot police using tear gas and batons.

Winston Smith, a blogger for Nawaat writes:

…اليوم5 ماي يتواصل القمع ضدّ المواطنين العزّل عبر إعتداء فرق التدخل و البوليس السياسي …على المتظاهرين المسالمين في شارع الحبيب بورقيبة بالعاصمة التونسية…

Today, May 5, the riot police and the State Security continue oppressing vulnerable citizens by attacking peaceful protestors in Hbib Bourguiba Avenue, in the capital Tunis

A youtube video, published on May 5, shows a small gathering of anti-government protestors, before the intervention of security forces.

On Friday, however, tension was higher and the police intervention was more violent.
Ben Karim tweets:

Happening right now in #Tunis: Peaceful Protestors beaten and shot with tear gas downtown by the police, #Tunisian police aggression is back

Haythem El Mekki says:

Les flics quand ils arrêtent un jeune se mettent tous a le battre de manière violente en même temps”

When they arrest a young man, all the policemen start beating him at the same time and in a brutal way

Escaping the Police Brutality photo on Yfrog

Nawaat tweets:

Avenue Bourguiba à Tunis : violence, tabassage arrestations arbitraires

Bourguiba Avenue in Tunis: violence, beating, arbitrary arrests

Security forces also attacked bloggers and journalists.

Fatma Arabicca, tweets:

بسام بوقرة المدون يتعرض للاختطاف من قبل البوليس والضرب المبرح ثم يرمى في الشارع آلام حادة على مستوى اليد

Blogger Bassem Bouguerra was kidnapped by police, brutally beaten and left in the street. Sharp pain on the level of the hand

Leena Ben Mhenni reacts on her Facebook page:

So sorry to know that my friend blogger Sam Bouguerra was kidnapped, beaten, and thrown in the middle of no where by the police. Shame on you!

An AFP photographer, a journalist for ShemsFM radio and another one from Aljazeera were attacked, while a correspondent for Radio Express FM was threatened and verbally humiliated by the police.

Nizou tweets:

Le journaliste de ShemsFm se fait tabasser en direct, la ligne est coupée, il n'est plus joignable

ShemsFm journalist was beaten up while he was reporting live, the line is cut off, he can't be contacted.

Amira Yahyaoui adds:

Un photographe de l'AFP qui couvrait les manifs de l'avenue bourguiba aujourd'hui a été agressé par les force de l'ordre #tunisie

An AFP photographer covering the protest in Bourguiba avenue was assaulted by police forces

This post is part of our special coverage Tunisia Revolution 2011.

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