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Further information on UA 69/94 (MDE 30/06/94, 22 February; and follow-up MDE 30/07/94, 1 March) - Tunisia: health concern / torture: Hamma Hammami

, Index number: MDE 30/009/1994

Hamma Hammami, arrested on 14 February 1994, finally received a medical examination on 8 March. He has now also received the medecines necessary for the treatment of his heart condition and kidney stones. There is concern, however, that owing to the excessive length of time between his alleged torture and the medical examination, the results of the latter, which found no trace of trauma, should not be used as evidence that torture did not occur.

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: MDE 30/09/94
Distr: UA/SC
11 March 1994
Further information on UA 69/94 (MDE 30/06/94, 22 February 1994) - and follow-up
(MDE 30/07/94, 1 March) - Health Concern / Torture
TUNISIA:Hamma HAMMAMI, member of the unauthorized Parti communiste des ouvriers
tunisiens (PCOT), Tunisian Workers' Party
Amnesty International has learned that Hamma Hammami, who was arrested on 14
February 1994, eventually received a medical examination on 8 March. He has
now also received the medicines necessary for the treatment of his heart
condition and kidney stones.
Amnesty International is concerned about the excessive length of time between
Hamma Hammami's torture (which he alleges he was subjected to for the first
two days after his arrest) and the medical examination, despite repeated
requests from his lawyers and family that he should receive such an examination,
and despite being entitled to one under Tunisian law and international
standards.
The medical report dated 8 March states that on examination there was no sign
of trauma to the head, trunk or limbs. While welcoming the fact that Hamma
Hammami has finally received medical care and an examination, Amnesty
International is concerned that as the physical traces of torture may well
have disappeared during the time between Hamma Hammami's alleged torture and
his examination, the results of the latter should not be used as evidence that
torture did not occur.
Hamma Hammami was due to be tried in the Sousse Court of First Instance on
23 February on charges including assaulting a policeman but his trial has now
been postponed to 16 March. He is also due to be tried in absentia in the
Gabès Court on 17 March for being a member of and illegal political party and
attending unauthorized meetings and distributing leaflets of the PCOT.
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and
airmail letters in French, Arabic, English or in your own language:
- expressing concern at the length of time it took for Hamma Hammami to receive
a medical examination despite being entitled to one under Tunisian law and
international standards;
- pointing out that as any physical traces of torture may well have disappeared
over the 23 days between Hamma Hammami's alleged torture and his examination,
the results of the examination should not be used as evidence that torture
did not occur;
- urging the Tunisian authorities to ensure that a thorough, impartial and
independent investigation be carried out into the allegations of torture and
ill-treatment, and that the finding of the investigation be made public.
- urging the Tunisian authorities to ensure that trial procedures enacted
against Hamma Hammami comply with international standards for fair trial.
APPEALS TO: salutations for all: Excellence / Your Excellency
1) President
M. Zine El Abidine Ben Ali
Président de la République
Palais Présidentiel
2
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
COPIES OF YOUR APPEALS TO:
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 22 April 1994.

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