EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: MDE 30/13/91
UA 109/91 Fear of Torture in Prolonged 25 March 1991
TUNISIA: Sadiq Shourou
Mohammed Moncef Al Triqi
Abdelaziz Al Buzouadi
Mohammed Ben Salem
Amnesty International is concerned that four Tunisians, members or sympathizers
of a non-recognized Islamic Group, are being held incommunicado in prolonged
garde à vue detention and may be at risk of torture or ill-treatment.
Sadiq Shourou, a lecturer in the Faculty of Medicine at Tunis University, was
arrested on 23 February 1991. He is said to be a sympathizer of the
non-recognized Islamic group Hizb al-Nahda (Renaissance) and had previously
been detained for three months and subsequently released without charge in
Mohammed Moncef Al Triqi, Head of the Tunis section of the Association
for the Protection of Human Rights and Public Liberties and a member of Hizb
al-Nahda, was arrested on 17 February 1991.
Abdelaziz Al Buzouadi, a former teacher working as journalist for Al-Fajr,
the weekly newspaper of Hizb al-Nahda, was arrested on 23 February 1991. The
newspaper Al-Fajr was ordered to close by the Tunisian Government on 8 February
Mohammed Ben Salem, a former lecturer in the Faculty of Agriculture in Tunis
University - now working as an engineer - and a member of the legislative council
of Hizb al-Nahda, was arrested on 24 February 1991.
The above named have now been held incommunicado in garde à vue detention well
beyond the maximum 10-day period permitted under Tunisian law. Moreover,
Tunisian law states that garde à vue detention must be renewed by the Procureur
de la République (State Prosecutor) after four days; there is no evidence that
this condition was complied with in any of these cases. Their families and
lawyers have sought information of their whereabouts and legal status from
the police and the Ministry of Interior but have not succeeded in obtaining
Amnesty International is concerned that these people may be at risk of torture
or ill-treatment, especially in light of the numerous reports of torture and
ill-treatment in garde à vue detention received over the past few months.
Since September 1990 several hundred supporters and suspected sympathizers
of Hizb al-Nahda have been arrested, many of whom, especially those held in
garde à vue detention beyond the 10-day legal period, have alleged that they
were tortured or ill-treated in police custody.