PUBLIC AI Index: MDE 30/33/99
8 September 1999
Further information on UA 194/99 (MDE 30/31/99, 3 August 1999) - Fear for safety
/ Harassment and intimidation
TUNISIARadhia Nasraoui, human rights lawyer, and her children Nadia Hammami,
Oussaima Hammami and Sara Hammami
Other members of her family
Police have reportedly started to harass and intimidate Radhia Nasraoui’s
extended family, searching their homes without warrants, threatening them with
violence or arrest, and interrogating them about her and her husband.
Early in the morning of 7 September 1999 around 50 police officers came to
the farmhouse where three of Radhia Nasraoui’s uncles live with their wives
and children. The family let them in after they threatened to break the door
down and tie them up.
The police threatened the family with farm implements, broke down doors and
searched the house from top to bottom. Although they mentioned no names, it
seems very likely that they were looking for Radhia Nasraoui’s husband, Hamma
Hammami, who is in hiding.
When one of the uncles asked the police for a search warrant, they told him,
"We don’t need warrants; we are police officers," and threatened to arrest
him. They ordered him to go to the local police station, where he was interrogated
about Radhia Nasraoui and Hamma Hammami.
About two weeks previously, one of the uncles, Mohamed, had had his car
confiscated, and was interrogated about Radhia and Hamma at the police station
while he was trying to retrieve his car. At around the same time, another uncle,
Naceur, was arrested at around midnight with his wife and two children, aged
six and two, in their car outside the farm. They were interrogated for over
three hours before they were released.
Hamma Hammami’s family have also been harassed and intimidated. Police recently
went to the house of his cousin, Lotfi, and other relatives, and interrogated
them about Hamma’s whereabouts, kicking and slapping some of them.
Radhia Nasraoui has been continually harassed over several years because of
her work as a human rights lawyer. In March 1998, she was charged, along with
students and alleged members of the Parti communiste des ouvriers tunisiens
(PCOT), Tunisian Workers’ Communist Party, whom she was representing, with
offences including membership of a terrorist group, inciting rebellion and
defamation of the authorities. She was given a six-month suspended prison
sentence. Hamma Hammami, who was tried in the same case, was sentenced in
absentia to nine years and three months’ imprisonment.
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express/
airmail letters in Arabic, French, English or your own language:
- expressing concern that Radhia Nasraoui and her daughters are being severely
harassed and intimidated by the security forces because of her human rights
work and professional duties;