EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: MDE 30/25/92
UA 332/92 Incommunicado Detention/Fear of Torture 23 October 1992
TUNISIA: Abderrazak HAMZAOUI, student
Amnesty International is concerned for the safety of a Tunisian student who
is being held in incommunicado detention. Abderrazak Hamzaoui has not been
seen since his arrest on 19 September 1992 and the organization fears he is
at risk of torture.
Abderrazak Hamzaoui is a second year student in computer programming at the
University of Tunis. He was arrested on 19 September 1992 in the Ben Arous
district of Tunis near the hostel where he was staying. His brother, Mongi
Hamzaoui, a milk salesman, who was arrested on 16 September 1992, has been
charged with supporting the illegal Islamic party Hizb al-Nahda. The arrest
of Abderrazak Hamzaoui is also thought to be related to government repression
of suspected supporters of al-Nahda. According to reports, Abderrazak Hamzaoui
was taken to the police station in Kasserine near his home but later transferred
to the Ministry of the Interior where he is still apparently held. There are
also reports that he has suffered ill-treatment in detention.
Members of the family went to the Kasserine Police Station and the Ministry
of the Interior on many occasions; on one occasion an official informed them
that Abderrazak Hamzaoui's file was at the Ministry but no information was
given as to his whereabouts. Amnesty International is concerned that
Abderrazak Hamzaoui has had no access to his family or legal counsel since
his arrest on 19 September 1992 and may be at risk of torture. Amnesty
International is also concerned for his health as Abderrazak Hamzaoui is said
to have suffered osteomyelitis as a child, leaving him with weakened bones
in his left leg.
Amnesty International raised the case of Abderrazak Hamzaoui with the Tunisian
Ministry of the Interior on 9 October 1992, but no information on his whereabouts
has yet been received.
Over 9,000 supporters of Hizb al-Nahda have been arrested and detained over
the last two years. Many of these have been held in prolonged incommunicado
detention. Arrest dates have been systematically falsified in order to make
it appear that the 10-day maximum limit of garde à vue detention laid down
by Tunisian law is being adhered to. Hundreds have been tortured, many
reportedly while being held in incommunicado detention within the Ministry
of the Interior on Habib Bourguiba Avenue.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail