U.N. Commission on Human Rights, Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, U.N. Doc. E/CN.4/1994/31 (1994)(Nigel Rodley, Special Rapporteur).


Urgent appeals

540. During the period under review the Special Rapporteur sent three urgent appeals to the Government which are described in the following paragraphs. The dates on which they were sent appear in parentheses at the end of the corresponding summaries.

541. Abderrazak Hamzaoui, a student at the University of Tunis, was reportedly arrested on 19 September 1992 in the Ben Arous district of Tunis and taken to the Kasserine police station, where he was allegedly tortured and denied access to his family and lawyer. Concern was expressed for his health since he was said to have suffered osteomyelitis as a child, which had left him with weakened bones in his left leg. (18 December 1992)

542. On 28 January 1993 the Government replied that Abderrazak Hamzaoui had been arrested under suspicion of being a militant member of an unauthorized association that advocated violence and holding illegal meetings. The Department of the Public Prosecutor had been informed, on the same day, of his arrest. During the investigation which followed, he had admitted that he belonged to the Al-Nahdah movement since 1986. On 1 November 1992, the Court had sentenced him to one year's imprisonment for membership of an illegal organization advocating violence, and to three months' imprisonment for holding illegal meetings. The Court had also ordered him to be placed under administrative supervision for two years. Mr. Hamzaoui had been granted all the legal guarantees necessary for his defence. He had not been subjected to torture and still less to ill-treatment while he was held in custody or during his detention. In addition, he had been given medical follow-up examinations through the prison and re-education services. His last medical examination had been on 7 January 1993. The certificate issued by the doctor afterwards stated that, as a child, Mr. Hamzaoui had had osteomyelitis, but that, at the time of the examination, he was suffering from no sickness or injury whatsoever.

543. The Government added that Tunisia had espoused the cause of human rights. The country's achievements in this area were exemplary. The unfounded allegations brought by hostile parties would not in any way weaken this commitment or shake this determination to cooperate with the international organizations.

544. Samir Moussa, a student abroad, was allegedly arrested on 25 July 1993 on his arrival at Tunis airport. His family was able to visit him briefly while he was at the airport police station, where he was informed that it was a purely routine check and that he would soon be released. However, when the case was brought to the attention of the Special Rapporteur he was said to be still in police custody at an unknown place of detention. (23 August 1993)

545. On 6 December 1993 the Government replied that Mr. Moussa had been released after 48 hours in detention. He had not been held incommunicado in an unknown place of detention and had not been subjected to ill-treatment.

546. Mohamed Tahar Badi was reportedly arrested at his home in Deggache, Touzer, on 28 July 1993. Since then, he had allegedly been held in police custody without being able to contact his family. According to the information received, his two sons and his daughter had been convicted last year of belonging to an illegal organization, which is why Mr. Tahar Badi had allegedly been subjected to repeated interrogation. (23 August 1993)

547. On 6 December 1993 the Government replied that Mr. Badi had been arrested on 25 August 1993 and released on the same day. He had not been held in custody for a long period and had not been subjected to ill-treatment.

548. Salaheddine Zikikout, a student in Paris, was reported to have been arrested on 8 August 1993 on arriving at the port of Tunis. Since then, he had allegedly been held in police custody and his family had not been able to obtain information on his place of detention or his state of health. (13 September 1993)

549. With respect to this case the Government informed the Special Rapporteur on 18 October 1993 that Salaheddine Zikikout had been arrested on the basis of a warrant issued by the Procurator-General for alleged membership of an unauthorized association that advocated violence and for illegal fund-raising.

He was detained in the civil prison of Tunis, where he could be visited by his family, and was being treated normally, in accordance with the 1988 prison regulations. The fears expressed in this regard were, therefore, unjustified.

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