Violated and harassed for campaigning for human rights
Seif, 23 years old, Tunis
In October 2020, police arrested Seif, an activist from the civil society organization DAMJ following his participation in demonstrations against the draft law on the protection of security forces. He was arrested without any legal basis, taken into police custody and denied his right to a lawyer. At the police station, Seif was subjected to violence for nearly 3 hours by the security agents. This resulted in a broken shoulder and injuries to his eye and leg.
Following the reopening of the debate on the highly controversial draft law on the protection of security forces, demonstrations were organized in Tunis. Groups of demonstrators were violently attacked by the police on October 6 and 8, 2020. Several were arrested, including Seif, as well as other activists of the association DAMJ defending the rights of minorities and particularly the LGBTIQ++ community. Arrested without legal basis, he was placed in police custody and deprived of his right to be assisted by a lawyer. At the police station, Seif was subjected to violence by the officers for nearly three hours. This resulted in a broken shoulder and injuries at the level of his eye and leg.
On December 8, 2020, Seif was again arrested after participating in a protest against violent speech against women held in front of the parliament. He remained in police custody for two days. While the prosecutor later ordered his release, he still accused him of "deliberate destruction of property." It was only during this custody that he learned that he was also being prosecuted for "offences against public morality" and "blocking a public road" in connection with his participation in the October 6 demonstration.
Seif was arrested and released several times during the protests in January and February 2021. Police cars were seen parked outside his house on several occasions. In January 2021, his house was searched.
DAMJ has filed criminal and administrative complaints against the perpetrators of the attacks against its members. So far, these complaints have not seen any response.