Documento - UA 69/94 - Tunisia: health concern / torture: Hamma Hammami

EXTERNAL (for general distribution)AI Index: MDE 30/06/94

Distr: UA/SC

UA 69/94 Health Concern / Torture22 February 1994

TUNISIAHamma HAMMAMI, member of the unauthorized Parti communiste des ouvriers tunisiens(PCOT), Tunisian Workers' Communist Party

Amnesty International is concerned about the health of Hamma Hammami who was arrested on 14 February 1994, subsequently tortured and ill-treated, and is currently being denied adequate medical care whilst held in pre-trial detention.

Hamma Hammami was tortured in the first two days after his arrest, both at Sousse Police Station and at the Ministry of the Interior in Tunis where he was subsequently taken. He was severely beaten around the head and body, sexually humiliated, and made to lie on the ground whilst policemen put a gun to his head, threatened to kill him, and stood on his neck causing near-asphyxiation.

Following this torture, Hamma Hammami fainted repeatedly and fell unconscious for a period of several hours. He is still suffering from headaches and dizziness and is in urgent need of proper examination to establish the extent of his head injuries. Repeated requests made by his family and lawyers for a medical examination following his alleged torture have still not been met. He is entitled to such a examination both under Tunisian law and international standards, such as the UN Convention Against Torture.

In addition, Hamma Hammami suffers from kidney stones and a heart condition for which he needs to take regular medicine. His family have not yet been allowed to bring him the necessary medicine. There is also concern that he is being held in overcrowded and insanitary conditions in Sousse Prison, and is receiving inadequate food (daily rations reportedly consist solely of one bowl of soup with bread).


At the time of his arrest, Hamma Hammami was in hiding after being sentenced in absentiain December 1992 to 4 years and 9 months' imprisonment for attending unauthorized meetings and distributing leaflets of the PCOT. His new trial is expected to take place in the Sousse Court of First Instance on 23 February 1994, on charges of grievous bodily harm (coups et blessures), refusal to comply with police orders (refus d'obtempérer) and falsification of identity papers.

RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail letters either in French, Arabic, English or in your own language:

- expressing concern that Hamma Hammami is being denied adequate medical care, and urging that he be given immediate medical treatment as necessary;

- deploring the torture and ill-treatment that he suffered after his arrest on 14 February 1994;

- expressing concern that despite repeated requests made by his lawyers and family he has not yet received a medical examination, as he is entitled to under Tunisian law and international standards;

APPEALS TO: Salutations for all: Excellence / Your Excellency

1) President

M. Zine El Abidine Ben Ali

Président de la République

Palais Présidentiel

Tunis/Carthage, Tunisie

Faxes: +216 1 744 721

Telexes: 14900 prpsa tn 12163 ppsd tn

Telegrams: Président Ben Ali, Tunis, Tunisie

2) Minister of Justice

M. Sadok Chaâbane

Ministre de la Justice

Ministère de la Justice

Boulevard Bab Benat

Tunis, Tunisie

Faxes: +216 1 568 106 or +216 1 567 070

Telexes: 13000 maet tn (via Ministère de l'Intérieur)

Telegrams: Ministre de la Justice Chaâbane, Tunis, Tunisie

3) Minister of the Interior

M. Abdallah Kallel

Ministre de l'Intérieur

Ministère de l'Intérieur

Avenue Habib Bourguiba

Tunis, Tunisie

Faxes: +216 1 340 888

Telexes: 13662 sdap tn

Telegrams: Ministre de l'Intérieur Kallel, Tunis, Tunisie

4) Minister of Foreign Affairs

M. Habib Ben Yahia

Ministre des Affaires étrangères

Ministère des Affaires étrangères

Place du Gouvernement

La Kasbah

Tunis, Tunisie

Faxes: +216 1 791005

Telexes: 14470 mafta tn, 14471 mafta tn, 14472 mafta tn

Telegrams: Ministre des Affaires étrangères Ben Yahia, Tunis, Tunisie


M. Iadh Ouederni

Conseiller présidentiel pour les Droits de l'Homme

Attaché à la Présidence de la République

Palais Présidentiel

Tunis/Carthage, Tunisie

faxes: +216 1 731 009 or +216 1 742 513

and to diplomatic representatives of Tunisia accredited to your country

PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat, or your section office, if sending appeals after 5 April 1994.

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