October 23ed, 2021, Tunis
On the night of 21 October 2021, in the heart of downtown Tunis, Badr Baabou, human rights advocate and head of Damj, the Tunisian Association for Justice and Equality, was brutally assaulted by two police officers.
On his way back home, Badr was attacked by two police officers, who first confiscated his personal belongings, including his identification documents, computer, and mobile phone. His assailants then delivered multiple severe blows to his body and face, as seen by the images taken post-assault. These heinous acts of cruelty and brutality were accompanied by statements of hatred, vindictiveness, and discrimination: « This is what happens to those who insult the police! This is what happens when you file a complaint against the police! »
These are not the first instances of this nature, nor are they an isolated incident or a simple blunder by overzealous police personnel. Human rights and individual liberties defenders are being systematically and deliberately repressed. Journalists, feminists, and activists for gender and sexual equality are paying a high price, as the case of Arroi Baraket, « guilty of being a journalist and feminist, » demonstrates.
The ongoing impunity of law enforcement agents has unquestionably been bolstered since July 25, 2021, the day President Kais Saied declared a state of exception. It disregards all of his presidential pledges in relation to safeguarding rights and freedoms and not backtracking to pre-July 25 conditions. Departure from this era is unlikely if the institutions that purports to have respect for the rule of law remain silent and even condone widespread acts of police brutality.
Thus, the signatory collectives, coalitions, associations and organizations:
Faced with the arbitrary character of the security system and the authorities’ complicit silence, the undersigned collectives, coalitions, associations, and organizations welcome journalists, diverse components of civil society, and all progressive forces in the country to a press conference on 27 October at 10 am at the SNJT offices, to shed light on the pervasiveness of post-25/07 police infractions and the ensuing totalitarian abuses.
Signatory collectives, coalitions, associations, and organizations:
 See the video published by DAMJ : https://www.facebook.com/damj.tunisie/videos/4449314395114223/
 See the press release signed by several CSOs: http://adlitn.org/ar/lescalade-des-charges-contre-arroi-baraket-est-injustifiee-et-doit-etre-rejetee/
 As a reminder, this serious aggression occurs exactly one year after enormous protests against police protection laws, which resulted in the detention, brutalization, and prosecution of numerous civil society activists and human rights defenders. Among these defenders are numerous Damj members who are still facing charges for the contempt of state officials (Article 125 of the Tunisian Penal Code).