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Kidnapped and aggressed for defending the right to equality

Ahmed*, 28 years old, Tunis

On December 22, 2020, a group of plainclothes police officers kidnapped Ahmed, an activist from the association DAMJ, from a street in Tunis. The officers loaded him into their car and drove around the city. During the journey, they slapped him, punched him on the head, kicked him in the rib cage and kidneys and scratched his face. While beating him, the agents questioned him about the activities of DAMJ and the identity of other activists of the association. Then they threw him out of the car close to the military hospital.  

While he was being beaten in the car, Ahmed's home was broken into. Other DAMJ activists, like Ahmed, continue to being harassed. Several have been victims of burglaries, have seen police cars parked near their homes or the various offices of the association. On February 23, the door of the Sfax office, as well as the documentation cabinet of the association's files were damaged.

DAMJ members were also arrested and prosecuted for "damaging property" and "insulting and abusing a public official" during their alleged participation in demonstrations. Activists entertaining the association's hotline have received threatening phone calls.

A group of activists from the association was summoned on the basis of false accusations by police unions. These unions harassed DAMJ activists on the internet, disclosing their identities, posting their photos together with hateful messages and putting them at high risk and danger.