Tunisia: Sidi Hassine - 43 NGOs, Lawyers to File Complaint Against Mechichi

Tunis/Tunisia — Dozens (43) of non-governmental organisations intend to sue Prime Minister and acting Minister of the Interior Hichem Mechich and anyone likely to be involved in Sidi Hassine Sejoumi events and the repression of protesters there.

President of the Union of Tunisian Journalists (SNJT), Mohamed Yassine Jelassi said at press conference Tuesday a team of lawyers (Association of Young Lawyers and the National Bar Association) and the 43 signatories of the June 11 declaration will file a complaint against Hichem Mechichi.

He announced the organisation of a first march next Friday in solidarity with the victims of torture and police violence.

A second rally will be held on June 26 so that «families can speak up and convey their voices about the repressive practices of the Ministry of Interior and security units, in total impunity.»

Jelassi called on civil society, the media and all Tunisians to exert strong pressure "to secure rights". "Tunisia belongs to all Tunisians, it is not the prerogative of a certain group that enjoys the protection of the state and remains unpunished, "he said.

He referred to the strong pressure exerted on the families of the victims not to speak with the media, stressing the major role of the media in denouncing the injustice and impunity that threaten social peace and undermine the democratic transition.

For his part, Deputy Secretary General of the Tunisian General Labour Union Samir Cheffi said this press conference comes to shed light on the violence and attacks that have taken place in recent days in connection with the death in unclear circumstances of a young man and the assault of a minor (molested and forcibly stripped by police officers).

He stressed the need to put an end to such violations, which unfortunately persist in Tunisia even after the revolution. He invited the civil society and all the living and democratic forces to act to promote the establishment of a republican police.

He also called on the components of civil society and state institutions to assume their responsibilities in the face of violations and abuses that take place, and to denounce the perpetrators of these violations instead of seeking to cover them.

Chaffi has, in this sense, stressed that the rights of every Tunisian are guaranteed by the Constitution, and that such practices are totally rejected.

He noted that the peaceful protest of civil society and all living forces aim to preserve the freedoms and the right of expression and recalled the importance of respecting the fundamental principles of human rights in general and the rights of Tunisian citizens in particular, in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.

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