Tunisia: The Policemen Fire Rubber Bullets On the Demonstrators and Arrest a Rapper

press release

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI), strongly condemns the use of the excessive violence by the Tunisian forces against the demonstrators in order to disperse a peaceful demonstration, which took place in several Tunisian provinces. ANHRI also denounces the arrest of "L'artistou", the Tunisian rapper, on the background of his song in which he described the deteriorated situation after the revolution. The Tunisian security forces, on January 10, 2013, have launched tear gas weapons and rubber bullets on the youth of Ben Qardan who demonstrated today to denounce the deteriorated economic situation in the country and the poor management of the country.

On Wednesday, January 9, 2013, the security forces arrested "L'artistou" on the background of a song in which he described the poor management of the country and the deteriorated economic situation, in the frame of the events that took place in Kaf area. A demonstration took place in the streets of Kaf, as it started from "Barnosa" headed to the headquarter of the province.

ANHRI said that "assaulting the peaceful demonstrators by such excessive violence is a clear violation to the freedom of expression". ANHRI added that "the use of the excessive violence and firing the rubber bullets on the demonstrators by the police forces, had ignored the order of the procedures in the hierarchy of using the force and violence tools to face the riots".

ANHRI noted that the provisions of the Tunisian law no. 4/69 issued on January 24, 1969 on the general meetings, processions ,parades, demonstrations and gatherings, especially in the chapters no. 20 and 22, in which indicated on the use of the fire arms by the officials who are assigned to enforce the law shall conduct in case they were incapable, which means the officials who are assigned by the fire arms, to defend, by another way, the place they occupy, facilities of which they protect, centers or persons they guard. In addition to if the resistance was in a way that it is impossible to encounter but by using arms".

The above-mentioned law stipulated that "in case of the public officials (security men), encountered demonstrators who refuse to leave despited the notifications, therefore, they have the right to adopt hierarchy measures in using the arms; first: spraying water or chasing by batons, then to throw tear gas bombs if the first way wasn't sufficient, after that shooting fires vertically in the air then above the heads and finally toward their legs. "In case of the demonstrators intended to go to their destinations despite the use all the ways to disperse them, the forces must fire at them directly".

ANHRI, according to that, calls on conduct an immediate investigation to whoever involved in firing the fire arms on the demonstrators. ANHRI said that the Tunisian authorities bears the full responsibility related to the injuries resulted from that.

ANHRI calls on the authorities to immediately release the rappers " L'artistou" and stop harassing the innovators and activists to silence their voices.

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